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Leukodystrophies are inherited disorders affecting the white matter of the brain and spinal cord.  They can cause problems with movement, vision, hearing, speaking, and overall development.  The UC Davis Health Leukodystrophy Care Network is dedicated to providing comprehensive care, diagnositic testing and advanced treatments to infants, children and adolescents living with these inherited diseases.  UC Davis is a LCN Certified Center, meeting or exceeding the Criteria for LCN Center Certification.

The Leukodystrophy Care Network is a community of affected families, organizations, and medical providers committed to revolutionizing the health and quality of life of individuals affected by Leukodystrophies with proactive, innovative, and comprehensive medical care standards and specialized centers. To learn more, please visit the LCN website.

Core Team

Program Director
William Steven Benko, M.D.
Clinical Professor of Neurology
Department of Neurology
Specialties: Pediatric Neurology

Dr. Benko’s interest in the diagnosis and management of leukodystrophies began while a clinical research fellow at NIH from 2005-2007.  Since then, he has dedicated his time to bring together pediatric subspecialists who are developing themselves as leukodystrophy experts in their field.  These unique patients deserve a collaborative center that in time, will incorporate reseach protocols.

Associate Program Director
Madelena Martin, M.D.
Associate Professor of Pediatrics
Department of Pediatrics
Specialties: General Genetics; Biochemical Genetics

Dr. Madalena Martin earned her Medical Degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and completed at Pediatric Residency Program at Loma Linda University Medical Center.  She has completed two genetics fellowships at the University of California, San Francisco, one in medical genetics and the other in biochemical genetics.  She is board certified in pediatrics and biochemical genetics. 

Clinical Care Coordinator

Cassandra Ingemansson, F.N.P., M.S.N.

Cassandra Ingemansson is a Family Nurse Practitioner who has worked with the Pediatric Neurology team at UC Davis since 2017. She is committed to ensuring that our leukodystrophy patients and their families receive the optimal care that they deserve. She is also dedicated to facilitating and advocating for comprehensive medical care standards for these patients so as to promote the best quality of life for them.  

Licensed and Certified Genetic Counselor

Ayaka Suzuki, M.S., C.G.C.
Department of Pediatrics
Specialties: Biochemical Genetics, General Genetics

Ayaka Suzuki is a licensed and board certified genetic counselor in the Division of Genomic Medicine, serving as the lead in the Biochemical Genetics and the Lysosomal Storage Disease Clinics. She supports individuals and their families with known or suspected metabolic and lysosomal storage disorders, including the leukodystrophies. It is her mission to support the strengths and help relieve the challenges each patient and their family may experience on their journey through diagnosis and with the condition.

Volunteer Administrative Coordinator
Jordan Eisner

Jordan Eisner is a UC Davis medical student. She joined the UC Davis Department of Neurology in 2020 as a Volunteer Administrative Coordinator for the Leukodystrophy Subspecialty Clinic. Her role involves ensuring that all patient information is organized in a way that optimizes patient care. However, her favorite part of the position is being a part of each patient's care and interacting with them during clinic visits!

Victoria Dimitriades, M.D.
Associate Professor
Department of Pediatrics
Specialties: Immunology, Allergy, Pediatrics

Dua M Anderson, M.D., M.S.
Assistant Professor
Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine
Pediatric Anesthesiologist
Specialties: Anesthesiology, Pediatric Anesthesiology

As a Pediatric Anesthesiologist, it's always a priority to tailor an anesthetic to the needs of the patient and his or her family. Over my years in practice, I've gained a particular interest in the challenges faced by patients with leukodystrophy. Whether an anesthetic is needed for a surgical procedure or to help with imaging studies such as MRI, a child's needs are always changing. It's both challenging and fulfilling to work with families, making a plan that optimizes a patient's experience while minimizing risk related to the effects of leukodystrophies on the different body systems.



Ritu Cheema, MB.B.S., F.A.A.P.
HS Assistant Professor
Department of Pediatrics
Specialties: Pediatric Infectious Diseases

I specialize in diagnosing and managing infections in pediatric infectious diseases. I am interested in working in collaboration with my colleagues from neurology, genetics, immunology and rehabilitation to provide services for patients with Leukodystrophy especially with ruling out infectious etiologies that can be confused with Leukodystrophies and managing any infectious issues arising during the management of this group of patients.



Catherine A RottKamp, M.D., Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics
Department of Pediatrics
Specialties: Neonatalogy

Josh Dayananthan, M.D.
HS Assistant Clinical Professor
Department of Neurology
Specialty: Movement Disorders

Josh Dayananthan is a general adult neurologist and movement disorders specialist at UC Davis Health. He developed an interest in leukodystrophy during his residency at UC Davis while providing care to a young man with X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy.  He has since presented a Grand Rounds presentation on the topic of X-ALD. As a member of the faculty at UCD, Dr. Dayananthan has remained involved in the care of adult patients with leukodystrophies and is eager to contribute to the multi-disciplinary clinic for leukodystrophy.

Shawna Arsenault, M.D.
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Rory John Kamerman-Kretzmer, M.D.
HS Assistant Clinical Professor
Department of Pediatrics
Specialties: Pediatric Pulmonology

My interest in the pulmonology/breathing-related care of patients (and families) with leukodystrophies stems from my years working with patients with many kinds of chronic respiratory problems.  Being able to breathe comfortably is one of the most critical components to quality of life, and all patients with neurologic and respiratory problems deserve the support they need to breathe as comfortably as possible.  Patients with leukodystrophies may experience a variety of complications that affect their respiratory system and ability to breathe comfortably including changes in their upper airway tone or strength, difficulty managing secretions and saliva, difficulty with cough, and weakness of the muscles of breathing.  They may also experience difficulties sleeping comfortably and safely.  As the pediatric pulmonologist for the multidisciplinary team, I work with our team members to assure that breathing is thoroughly evaluated, the patient and their family are supported, and any discomfort of breathing is alleviated as much as possible.



Arzu Ozturk, M.D.
Associate Professor of Radiology
Department of Radiology
Specialties: Radiology, Neuroradiology

Dr. Ozturk specializes in diagnostic neuroradiology with particular interest in pediatric neuroradiology. She is interested in pediatric degenerative disorders (Leukodystrophies), congenital anomalies, imaging of seizure disorders, and brain tumors.  Her research interests are advanced MRI techniques including but not limited to Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI), tractography, and MR spectroscopy. 



Matthew Bobinski, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor
Department of Radiology
Specialties: Chief of Neuroradiology

Dr. Bobinski's clinical interests are in neuroradiology, focusing on head and neck radiology and advanced magnetic resonance imaging techniques.  His research interests are in imaging of head and neck cancer and effects of its treatment.  His research projects also include brain tumors, Alzheimers disease, degenerative brain disorders and dementia.