Professor M.S. van der Knaap

Prof. van der Knaap is professor and head of the research group “White matter disorders in children” at Pediatric neurology department of Free University (VUMC), Amsterdam, The Netherlands. She works on genetic, progressive white matter disorders of brain for the children since 1987. She is leading authority in the area of white matter disorders of children.

Professor van der Knaap has obtained a cum laude degree in medicine from Erasmus University, Rotterdam. She continued her PhD studies and graduated cum laude in 1991 from University’s department of pediatric neurology, while also collaborating with the department of neuroradialogy of VU University. In 1999 she became full professor of pediatric neurology at VU University Amsterdam. Prof Knaap has an international reputation as pioneer in the development of MRI “pattern recognition” program for the diagnosis of white matter disorders. Her research areas include finding of new white matter disorders, investigating their causes (mostly genetic), understanding of disease mechanism and development the treatment methods. Her group is successful in discovering defected genes responsible for several new white matter disorders and which makes possible for the prenatal diagnosis of these rare diseases. Prof. Maria is leading the center established for “white matter disorders” since 2000 at VUMC and which is working on diagnosis and treatment methods of white matter disorders.


Prof van der Knaap was awarded Spinoza prize, a highest scientific award in Netherlands and which she partly used to establish a line for the development of stem cell therapies. She has been also awarded the gold medal of the International Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine for pioneering work on Magnetic Resonance of neurodegenerative and neurometabolic disorders of children. Over the years, growing number of children with white matter disorders were referred to “Center for children with white matter disorders” at VUMC and also several MRIs sent for second opinions. Stichting Yasho Luekodystrophy foundation works together with Center for white matter disorders, VUMC to reach its goals.

Dr Nicole Wolf

Dr Nicole Wolf is child neurologist and specialist in hereditary white matter diseases since 2008 at VUMC, Amsterdam. She works on hypomyelinisation, a heterogeneous disease group characterized by lack of myelin. Dr Wolf has completed her Ph D in “Nuerology” at University of Heidelberg, Germany in 1999. Afterwards, She has extensive experiecne of working at University Children Hospital, Heidelberg and at Kinderspital , UMC Zurich, Switzerland. In 2008, she has moved to the “ Center for Childhood White Matter Disorders” at VUMC, Amsterdam. Dr Wolf’s major research and clinical interest is hypomyelination, for which she has described several new diseases/entities. Her other focuss are within the field of inherited white matter disorders is metachromatic leukodystrophy, especially imaging findings and therapy. Yasho was get intrdouced to Dr Wolf at VUMC in 2010 for the first time, since then she has been research doctor of Yasho. she has diagnosed Yasho’s disease as HBSL in 2012 including the underlying defected genes . We know she is highly motivated towards the research of inherited whie matter disorders. Dr Wolf and her team have been actively working at the center for white matter disorders at VUMC to unravel new disease genes and disease mechanisms with the goal to find out treatments.

Professor Gajja Salomons

Gajja Salomons is professor at the Department of Clinical Chemistry and also head of the Metabolic Laboratory of the VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The laboratory provides diagnostics on inborn errors of metabolism on the following levels: metabolites, enzymes, DNA/RNA as well as on the functional level. Her research is imbedded in the Neuroscience Campus Amsterdam and in the Center for Childhood White Matter Disorders lead by Prof Marjo van der Knaap. The overall research aim of the Metabolic Laboratory is on unraveling the cause of neurometabolic disorders, development of diagnostic approaches and translational research. The main interests are the cerebral creatine deficiency syndromes, 2-hydroxyglutaric aciduria’s, disorders in polyol metabolism and most recently on aminoacyl tRNA synthetase defects.

Gajja Salomons and her team is co-author on more than 170 peer reviewed papers including papers reporting the underlying genetic defect of these disorders (Salomons et al 2001, Am J Hum Genetics; Struys et al, Am J Hum Genetics 2005; Kranendijk et al, Science 2011; Nota et al, Am J Hum Genetics 2013). Her laboratory functions as a worldwide referral center. Prof Salomons is honorary secretary of the Society for the Study of Inborn Errors of Metabolism and she is communicating editor of the Journal of Inherited Metabolic Disease.

Dr Madhava Reddy Kurapati

Dr Madhava Reddy Kurapati M.P.T (ortho) is Professor in Physiotherapy at Kugler Physiotherpay colleage at Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, India. Dr Reddy is also founder director of Lakshmi Physio care & obesity Hospital and Lakshmi Spastisity society at Kavali, Andhra Pradesh, India. Lakshmi clinic has been active for the past 12 years at Kavali in service of several children and elder patients in the area of physio care and rehabilitation. Dr Reddy has been always someone takes extra effort to help the need of patients. He is the first one who established clinic with necessary infrastructure for the children with spasticity problems at Kavali ( a small city with 80000 citizens). Yasho was under physio care of Dr Reddy during 2006 -2008. Dr Reddy and his colleagues helped Yasho immensely with intensive physiotherapy when Yasho is 1 to 3,5 years old. For Dr Reddy’s physiotherapy Yasho has reacted very well and reached several mile stones as a baby.

Dr Reddy has been passionate and always there to help with humanity causes. He has been Assistant district governor, zone 1 Rotary International Dist 3160 and also vice president of Nellore district Saksham. We aim to partner with Dr.Madhava Reddy to create awareness and to extend services to the kids with luekodystrophy across the continents.