MS in the 21st Century:

Who we are

Meet the group

MS in the 21st Century first began as a group of MS healthcare experts aiming to standardize care worldwide. Recognizing the importance of including the patient voice in our work, in 2O16, we also welcomed MS patients to the group.

Through our joint research, two things quickly became apparent:

  • There are considerable differences between what patients and healthcare professionals believe to be patients' greatest unmet needs in MS care.
  • In order for the two groups to better understand and support each other, communication in MS care needs to be improved.

We are now proud to be an entirely collaborative group, with our primary objectives being to improve communication between healthcare professionals and people with MS, and to work together to develop practical educational resources based on real-world needs and data.

Read more about our members and what each
of them brings to the group below.


  Healthcare Professionals Patient Representatives

Birgit Bauer

Birgit Bauer

Birgit was diagnosed with MS in 2005, after which she started her life afresh. She says, ‘I’m the boss of my life, not my MS.’ Birgit is a social media and digital health expert consultant, speaker and journalist in her own company which she has with a business partner, and is one of the most influential bloggers on MS and healthcare in Germany and Europe. Birgit has more than 14 years of experience working with different stakeholders including patients and patient organisations; she supports European Multiple Sclerosis Platform (EMSP) as an advisor on patient issues and has been a member of the MS in the 21st Century patient steering group since 2016.

Birgit is co-lead (PWCP) of the Digital Media and Health Topic Group at the European Medicines Agency (EMA) as of October 2017, works as a member of the Patient Advisory Group of the European Society of Radiology and is an engaged member of diverse advisory boards and steering groups.

Trishna Bharadia

Trishna Bharadia

Trishna is a multi-award winning patient advocate in MS with a prominent profile in the MS and broader health advocacy arena, as well as a general public profile thanks to her appearance on popular BBC1 show “Strictly Come Dancing” in 2015. Her work includes public speaking, consultancy, content creation and review, co-production of information and services, and writing. She works with multiple stakeholders including industry, clinicians and individual patients, and is a Patron/Ambassador for numerous MS-, disability- and patient-related organisations, including MS Society UK, Para Dance UK, ADD International, Lyfebulb and two MS Therapy Centres. Trishna’s main areas of interest include patient engagement, health literacy/information, work and disability, and engaging with hard-to-reach communities, particularly the Asian community. She works full time as a Spanish-English translator/analyst for a business intelligence firm.

Professor Alexey Boyko

Alexey Boyko

Prof Boyko gained his MD and PhD from the Russian State Medical University, Moscow and has been Professor of the Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery at this university since 1997. He was the Chief Neurologist of the Department of Health Care of the Government of Moscow from 2001–2015, Director of the Moscow Multiple Sclerosis Centre from 2004–2014 and has been Director of the MS Clinical and Research Centre at Neuroclinica of Yusupov's Hospital since 2015.

Prof Boyko is also a member of the Presidium of the All-Russian Society of Neurologists, Co-ordinator of the Medical Consulting Boards of Moscow and All-Russian MS Societies, and President of RUCTRIMS.

He has published 12 books, 12 chapters in books and more than 700 original publications and is a co-editor of three medical journals. His main interests are epidemiology and genetics of MS, immunopathogenesis, and clinical trials in MS.

Professor Elisabeth Celius

Elisabeth Celius

Prof Celius has a medical degree from the University of Bonn, Germany, and was certified in neurology in 1993. She has worked as a consultant with a special focus on MS at the Oslo University Hospital since 1987, acting as Head of the Neurological Department from 2002–2010 and Group Leader of the MS Research group since September 2018. Prof Celius is a member of the reference group preparing guidelines for treatment of MS in the Norwegian Directorate of Health, as well as being a member of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS) Council.

Prof Celius has a special interest in MS epidemiology and clinical studies, but also participating in genetic studies and gene-environment studies. She regularly takes part in the development of local, national and international data collections and research projects.

Pieter van Galen

Pieter van Galen

Pieter was diagnosed with MS in 2006 and is an active member of the European Multipole Sclerosis Platform (EMSP). In addition to his extensive work with EMSP, he is a self-employed freelance trainer and consultant, with broad professional experience as a speaker. Pieter feels that MS is sometimes misunderstood as, often, on the outside, there are no physical symptoms, but mobility and fatigue can play a large role in day-to-day life for people with MS. Through his advocacy work, he hopes to help raise awareness of MS and improve patients’ experiences and empower others. Pieter has been an active member of the MS in the 21st Century Steering Group since 2016. He is proud to be one of the authors on the first MS21 patient-HCP co-authored manuscript and over the years he has presented at a number of different international congresses representing MS in the 21st Century.

Professor Gavin Giovannoni

Gavin Giovannoni

Prof Giovannoni is an academic neurologist based at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London. His current research is focused on Epstein Barr virus as a possible cause of multiple sclerosis, MS-related neurodegeneration, biomarker discovery & validation, and MS clinical outcomes. Prof Giovannoni is also an avid reader and blogger.

Professor Jeremy Hobart

Jeremy Hobart

Prof Hobart is a Consultant Neurologist at University Hospitals Plymouth, and Professor at the Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry. His clinical sub-specialist interest is the diagnosis and management of people with multiple sclerosis and he is President of the South Devon branch of the MS Society.

Prof Hobart’s research interest is rating scales for measuring health outcomes. His training in health measurement and rating scale science has included a PhD in Psychometrics from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (Prof Donna Lamping), post-doctoral attachments to the University of Chicago (Prof Ben Wright) and, more recently, a secondment to Murdoch University Perth, Western Australia (Prof David Andrich).

Dr Mitzi Joi Williams

Mitzi Joi Williams

Dr Williams is a neurologist and multiple sclerosis specialist, and has served as Medical Director of the Augusta MS Center in Augusta, Georgia and Medical Director of Adult Rehabilitation Services. She worked as a clinical neurologist and researcher for over seven years at the Multiple Sclerosis Center of Atlanta, one of the largest private practice MS Centres in the US. Dr Williams is a Diplomate of the American Board of Psychology and Neurology, and is a member of the American Academy of Neurology and the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers. She has received numerous recognitions for her professional and educational achievements.

Dr Williams’ research interests include increasing diversity in clinical trials and understanding the course of MS in minority ethnic populations, particularly African Americans. She is currently a trustee for the Georgia chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and works to educate her patients and colleagues about Multiple Sclerosis.

Elisabeth Kasilingam

Elisabeth Kasilingam

Professor Jurg Kesselring

Jurg Kesselring

Prof Kesselring is Emeritus Head of the Department of Neurology and Neurorehabilitation at the Rehabilitation Centre, Valens, Switzerland. He was Professor of Clinical Neurology and Neurorehabilitation at the University of Bern and the Centre of Neuroscience, Zürich.

Prof. Kesselring was in various roles in the Swiss Multiple Sclerosis Society for many years (Vice President 1991–2005, President 2005–2011, Chairman of the Medical Advisory Board 1984–1995), and has been its first Honorary President since 2015. He is the former Chairman of the International Medical and Scientific Board of the Multiple Sclerosis International Federation (MSIF), as well as Chairman of the WHO Working Group on Multiple Sclerosis. He is the President of the MoveAbility Foundation and the International Committee of the Red Cross of which he has been a member since 2011.

Professor Dawn Langdon

Dawn Langdon

Prof Langdon completed her training as a clinical psychologist at Oxford University and the Institute of Psychiatry, London. She worked as a clinical neuropsychologist at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queen Square, London, for 16 years, obtaining a PhD on reasoning in organic brain syndromes from the Institute of Neurology and registration as both a neuropsychologist and a health psychologist. She is now Professor of Neuropsychology and Director of Health and Medicine at Royal Holloway, University of London.

Prof Langdon is also an Honorary Professor in the Preventative Neurology Unit within Queen Mary University of London and a Fellow of the British Psychological Society. She is neuropsychology lead on a number of multinational trials for the pharmaceutical industry and has worked extensively on psychological aspects of MS, including measurement of cognition and its relation to pathology and other disease variables. She is Co-Chair of Brief International Cognitive Assessment for Multiple Sclerosis (BICAMS), which has developed a cognitive assessment in MS in use in 30 countries ( She is a frequent contributor to international scientific meetings and committees and is a Trustee of the UK MS Trust, with whom she has authored the MS cognition website

Dr Alice Laroni

Alice Laroni

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Get involved

MS in the 21st Century is proud to base its work on original data and insights collected from real people in the worldwide MS community.

If you are a person with MS, a healthcare professional involved in MS care, or a caregiver or family member, please take one of our surveys to help shape future MS in the 21st Century programs.

Get involved

MS in the 21st Century is proud to base its work on original data and insights collected from real people in the worldwide MS community.

If you are a person with MS, a healthcare professional involved in MS care, or a caregiver or family member, please take one of our surveys to help shape future MS in the 21st Century programs.