Universiteit Leiden

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Michel Ferrari

Professor Neurology, in particular headache and related paroxysmal cerebral disorders

Name
Prof.dr. M.D. Ferrari
Telephone
+31 71 526 2895
E-mail
m.d.ferrari@lumc.nl

Michel D. Ferrari, MD, PhD, FANA, FRCP is Professor of Neurology, Chair of the Leiden Centre for Translational Neuroscience, and member of the Permanent Science Committee at Leiden University Medical Centre (LUMC). He also is President of the Dutch Headache Society and past President of the International Headache Society (IHS), and serves and has served on the executive, scientific and advisory boards of many other scientific organisations.

Prof. Ferrari is an Elected Fellow of the American Neurological Association (FANA) and the Royal College of Physicians (FRCP), and a Honorary Member of the Colombian Neurology Society and the International (IHS), Danish and Italian Headache Societies. He received from the Dutch Neurological Association the five-ennial Winkler Medallion for Excellence in Neurological Research (2005) and from The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) the Vici Innovational Research Personal Incentive Schema Award (2004), the Spinoza Life Time Achievement Premium (2009), the highest science prize in The Netherlands, and the 10-year Gravity Award “Brain on a Chip” (2017) as part of the “Netherlands Organ on a Chip Initiative”.

More information about Michel Ferrari

Michel D. Ferrari, MD, PhD, FANA, FRCP is Professor of Neurology, Chair of the Leiden Centre for Translational Neuroscience, and member of the Permanent Science Committee at Leiden University Medical Centre (LUMC). He also is President of the Dutch Headache Society and past President of the International Headache Society (IHS), and serves and has served on the executive, scientific and advisory boards of many other scientific organisations.

Prof. Ferrari is an Elected Fellow of the American Neurological Association (FANA) and the Royal College of Physicians (FRCP), and a Honorary Member of the Colombian Neurology Society and the International (IHS), Danish and Italian Headache Societies. He received from the Dutch Neurological Association the five-ennial Winkler Medallion for Excellence in Neurological Research (2005) and from The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) the Vici Innovational Research Personal Incentive Schema Award (2004), the Spinoza Life Time Achievement Premium (2009), the highest science prize in The Netherlands, and the 10-year Gravity Award “Brain on a Chip” (2017) as part of the “Netherlands Organ on a Chip Initiative”.

Neurology

Prof. Ferrari’s research focusses on the neurobiological, genetic, clinical, epidemiological and therapeutic aspects of “Paroxysmal Cerebral Disorders” (PaCD), in particular migraine, migraine-related stroke, cluster headache and other Trigeminal Autonomic Cephalgia’s (TACS), episodic ataxia, and epilepsy. His research addresses many of the questions listed in the Dutch National Science Agenda (NWA; e.g. # 81-83, 95, 98-100, 105, and 112).

PaCD are typically characterised by frequently recurring, highly disabling attacks of acute cerebral dysfunction which may last for several minutes (epilepsy & TACs), hours (cluster headache), or days (migraine). Migraine is a common, undertreated, episodic neurovascular brain disorder, affecting 12% of the general population. The disease is ranked the second most disabling condition in the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017. Experiencing a migraine attack is in the highest WHO class of disease-related disability, requiring rapidly effective and well tolerated acute, or, even better, prophylactic treatment. Annual costs due to migraine-related loss of working hours are astronomical (€ 52 Billion in the EU). Prevention of migraine attacks, the ultimate goal of Ferrari’s translational research, would have a major impact on patient and society.   

Academic Career

Prof. Ferrari received his M.D. (1980), his specialty certificates in Neurology and Clinical Neurophysiology (1985) and his Ph.D. (1992) on “Serotonin and Migraine” (supervisors: Profs. George Bruyn & Pramod Saxena) cum laude from LUMC. He has been a Research Fellow at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston with Prof. Mike Welch, and at Harvard Medical School with Prof. Michael Moskowitz. In 2002 he was appointed full Professor in “Headache and related Paroxysmal Cerebral Disorders”. The title of his inaugural lecture (Why now?) refers to the erratic nature of migraine attacks and the focus of Ferrari’s research which is primarily aimed at unravelling mechanisms for the triggering, initiation, recurrence, chronification and ultimately prevention of migraine attacks.

Prof. Ferrari is the principal investigator (PI) of several international consortia, including the EUROHEADPAIN programme, in which 9 European centres collaborate to study the pathogenesis and treatment of migraine and its chronification. Since 2017 he also is the PI of the 10-year Gravity 2017 “Brain on a Chip” Consortium as part of the “Netherlands Organ on a Chip Initiative”.

Prof. Ferrari has organised multiple international congresses, incl. the 1997 IHS World Congress in Amsterdam. He is Associate Editor of Cephalalgia and Headache Currents, Senior Associate Editor of Headache, and a regular peer reviewer for many high ranking scientific journals. He has (co-) authored over 600 peer-reviewed publications and many books, and ranks among the global top three most cited scientists on “Migraine and Other Vascular Headaches”.

Prizes and honourable appointments

Prof. Ferrari is a Fellow of the American Neurological Association (FANA) and the Royal College of Physicians (FRCP), and Honorary Member of the Colombian Neurology Society and the International (IHS), Danish and Italian Headache Societies. He has received numerous awards, incl. the Arnold Friedman Distinguished Clinician Researcher (1995) and Harold G. Wolff (1997) Awards from the American Headache Society, the Migraine Trust Special (2002) and Macdonald Critchley (2016) Lectures, and The European Headache Federation (2006) and IHS Special (2009) Lectures. In 2011 he was awarded the triennial Hartmann Muller Prize for Biomedical Research from the University of Zurich.

From the Dutch Neurological Association, Ferrari received the five-ennial Winkler Medallion for Excellence in Neurological Research (2005) and from The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) the Vici Innovational Research Personal Incentive Schema Award (2004), the Spinoza Life Time Achievement Premium (2009), the highest science prize in The Netherlands, and the 10-year Gravity Award “Brain on a Chip” (2017), as part of the “Netherlands Organ on a Chip Initiative”. In 2015 his personal profile was highlighted in Lancet Neurology.

Professor Neurology, in particular headache and related paroxysmal cerebral disorders

  • Faculteit Geneeskunde
  • Divisie 3
  • Neurologie

Work address

LUMC Main Building
Albinusdreef 2
2333 ZA Leiden
Room number K5Q-95

Contact

Publications

  • Cardiovascular Research School Erasmus University Rotterdam Scientific Evaluation & Site Visit Committee
  • Dutch ALS foundation Scientific Advisory Board
  • Dutch Brain Foundation Scientific Advisory Board
  • Dutch Headache Society President
  • Dutch Neurology Association Consensus Committee on the Diagnosis & Treatment of Headache Disorders
  • Dutch Organisation of Headache Patients Medical and scientific advisor(ad hoc)
  • Erasmus University Rotterdam Board of Directors Pharma BV
  • European Headache Federation Research Committee
  • International Headache Masters Programme Steering Committee
  • International Headache Society Chairman Scientific Committee
  • International Headache Society Drug Trial Committee
  • International Headache Society Research Fellowship Committee
  • Leiden Centre for Translational Neuroscience Chair
  • National and International Biomedical Congresses and Symposia Scientific Programme Committees
  • Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research Scientific Review Committees for Neurosience and pain
  • Netherlands Organisation of Scientific Research Committee for Translational Research
  • New Zealand Neurological Research Council
  • Pharmaceutical, Biotech and Biomedical Technology Companies Scientific advisor (ad hoc)
  • Science Foundation Ireland Strategic Research Cluster Review Panel of the Netherlands
  • The Wellcome trust Scientific reviewer
  • Utrecht University Medical Centre Rudolf Magnus Research Award Review Committee
  • World Federation of Neurology Migraine Research Group

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