Brad and Monika Jones – Directors and Co-Founders
Brad and Monika’s son Henry Jones has undergone three surgeries to complete an anatomical hemispherectomy for intractable epilepsy due to total hemimegalencephaly. After his functional hemispherectomy at the age of three months old, Brad and Monika grew increasingly frustrated by the lack of information in the medical and therapy community about how to best rehabilitate their child. Would he learn to walk? Would he talk? How would they get him to reach his full potential? When no clear answers were provided, they decided to form this foundation.
Monika is an active member of several online communities who focus on providing information to parents of children who have undergone hemispherectomy surgery and a tireless advocate for these children. She graduated from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1989 and received her juris doctorate from the University of Southern California in 1993. She serves as President of The Brain Recovery Project.
Brad’s career has focused on finance, new ventures and international economic development. Brad holds a B.A. in Economics from Duke University, an MBA from Northwestern University, and has done post-graduate work at Harvard University. Brad serves as Treasurer of the foundation.
Stella de Bode, Ph.D. – Director/Chief Science Officer/Director of Research and Rehabilitation Programs
Dr. Stella de Bode is an expert on neuroplasticity following cerebral hemispherectomy. She was recently Assistant Professor at the Rudolf Magnus Institute at the University Medical Center Utrecht in the Netherlands, in the Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery in the Brain Function and Plasticity Section where she studied brain recovery and reorganization in children following cortical hemispherectomy. Prior to that, she was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Sciences & Disorder, School of Public Health, at the University of South Carolina where her research interests included motor and language reorganization following hemispherectomy. She received her Ph.D. from the University of California at Los Angeles in Applied Linguistics and Neuroscience where the subject of her doctoral dissertation was Language In The Isolated Right Hemisphere: Predicting Language and Quantifying Language Outcomes After Hemispherectomy. She is a prolific author, having co-authored several research papers on post-hemispherectomy linguistic outcomes, including: Spoken Language Outcomes After Hemispherectomy: Factoring in Etiology; Age and Etiology As Predictors of Language Outcome Following Hemispherectomy; How Normal Is Grammatical Development In The Right Hemisphere Following Hemispherectomy? The Root Infinitive Stage and Beyond; and Language After Hemispherectomy.
Luis Montes, M.D. - Director/Secretary
Dr. Montes serves as Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center. He oversees all aspects of the world-renowned facility’s 25-bed pediatric service that treats children with catastrophic disabling illnesses and injuries such as spinal cord injury, stroke, brain injury and neuromuscular diseases.
He earned his Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Texas Medical School at Houston, completed a fellowship in Pediatric Rehabilitation at Rancho Los Amigos, and his residency at Los Angeles County/University of Southern California (LAC/USC) Pediatric Pavilion.
Dr. Montes’ professional experience includes serving as Medical Director of the Special Needs Clinic at White Memorial Pediatric Medical Group, Medical Director of the Rehabilitation Department at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, Medical Director of the Los Angeles Immunization Program, Director of the Pediatric Spinal Cord Injury Program and Staff Physician at Rancho Los Amigos, and Staff Physician in the Pediatric Emergency Department at LAC/USC.
Gary W. Mathern, M.D. – Director
Dr. Gary Mathern is Neurosurgical Director of the Pediatric Epilepsy Surgery Program and Neurobiology Epilepsy Research Laboratory at the David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA Medical Center. Apart from being a meticulous epilepsy surgeon, he has a deep interest in research. He has over 197 papers to his credit. His key interests include cortical dysplasias, neurobiology of epilepsy and hemispherectomies.
Dr. Mathern is board certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery. He is one of few surgeons certified by the American Board of Clinical Neurophysiology. He received his medical degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, interned at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, and was a resident in surgery and then neurosurgery at the UCLA School of Medicine.
He is a member of several organizations including the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, the American Epilepsy Society, The Brain Research Institute, and the Society for Neuroscience, and is on the medical board of the Hemispherectomy Foundation.
Jeff Catania, Ph.D. – Director
Dr. Jeffrey Catania is Senior Vice President for Development at Children’s Institute, Inc. As the senior staff member responsible for funding, he directs all private funding development and government grants. In addition, he is responsible for the agency’s marketing and communications program, including print and multimedia materials, event production and public relations. Over the past 30 years, Jeff has served in senior development positions at Vista del Mar Child and Family Services, Venice Family Clinic and several other leading nonprofit agencies in Los Angeles. His accomplishments include the development and implementation of successful multimillion dollar fundraising and public relations campaigns, as well as leading strategic planning efforts resulting in significantly stronger annual revenues, expanded donor bases and higher public recognition of agency activities. Jeff holds a Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Southern California and an undergraduate Psychology degree from Occidental College. Jeff’s son, Dylan Catania, had a functional hemispherectomy as an infant due to hemimegalencephaly.