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The 2018 graduating class of The Edmond J. Safra Fellowship in Movement Disorder with benefactor Mrs. Lily Safra.

The Edmond J. Safra Fellowship in Movement Disorders

For people and families with Parkinson’s, seeing a movement disorder specialist — an expert who has additional training in diagnosing and treating Parkinson’s — is one of the keys to living life with the disease as well as possible. But there aren’t enough specialists to care for the 6 million people around the world who live with Parkinson’s.

A Global Network of Parkinson's Doctors

The Edmond J. Safra Fellowship in Movement Disorders, a partnership between the Edmond J. Safra Foundation and MJFF, is helping to meet this growing need.

By funding medical centers each year to train new movement disorder specialists, the program is building a global network of Parkinson’s experts to provide high-quality care, fuel research progress and train future generations.


Watch a video on The Edmond J. Safra Fellowship in Movement Disorders.

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Improving Lives through Research and Care

Learn more about the program’s impact and the most recent fellowship graduates and their mentors.

“This growing global network of expertly trained movement disorder specialists will help ensure that people and families living with Parkinson’s receive comprehensive and compassionate care and that critical research moves forward to meet their most pressing needs.”
Mrs. Lily Safra Chairwoman of the Edmond J. Safra Foundation
The Edmond J. Safra Fellowship Alumni

To date, The Edmond J. Safra Fellowship in Movement Disorders has graduated 21 new movement disorder clinician-researchers across the world. Each specialist makes significant contributions by delivering high-quality care, advancing research and engaging their local communities. Learn more about the Fellowship graduates and where they are now.

  • Whitley Aamodt, MD, MPH

    Whitley Aamodt, MD, MPH

    Instructor of Neurology
    University of Pennsylvania
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    Fellowship Site: University of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    Whitley cares for patients with Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders. Her research explores health outcomes and end-of-life care for patients with Parkinson’s disease and atypical parkinsonism. She is particularly interested in developing initiatives to improve quality of life for patients at all stages of disease.

  • Amir Badiei, MD, MS

    Amir Badiei, MD, MS

    Movement Disorder Specialist
    St. James Healthcare
    Butte, Montana

    Fellowship Site: University of California, San Francisco (UCSF); San Francisco, California 

    Amir studied Cognitive Science as an undergraduate at the University of California, Berkeley, and obtained a master's degree in Biomedical Sciences at Tufts University. He completed his medical degree at Saint Louis University, and his residency training in the Harvard Neurology Program at Beth Israel Deaconess. Within Movement Disorders, Dr. Badiei's interest lies in the atypical parkinsonian syndromes, the neurocognitive effects of deep brain stimulation in parkinsonism, and brain mapping.

  • Christopher Caughman, MD

    Christopher Caughman, MD

    Assistant Professor, Neurology
    Emory University
    Atlanta, Georgia

    Fellowship Site: Emory University; Atlanta, Georgia 

    Chris is a movement disorder neurologist at Emory University. After completing his residency in neurology at Emory University, Chris continued his training as an Edmond J. Safra fellow at Emory University. Following the completion of his fellowship, Chris will be staying on faculty as an Assistant Professor of Neurology with a focus in the clinical management of Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor, dystonia, and other movement disorders. 

  • Judith van Gaalen, MD

    Judith van Gaalen, MD

    Neurologist
    Radboud University Medical Centre
    Nijmegen, the Netherlands

    Fellowship Site: Radboud University Medical Centre; Nijmegen, the Netherlands 

    Judith diagnoses and treats patients with various types of movement disorders. Next to Parkinson’s disease, she has specific expertise in rarer movement disorders, such as cerebellar ataxia. She combines care for these patients with research in this field. She is involved in the care for patients with Parkinson’s disease, including those receiving deep brain stimulation (DBS). Judith strives to optimize care for young patients with movement disorders and will continue working on this after completion of her fellowship.

  • Neil Shetty, MD

    Neil Shetty, MD

    Clinical Instructor
    Northwestern University
    Chicago, Illinois

    Fellowship Site: Northwestern University; Chicago, Illinois 

    Neil received his B.S. in neuroscience from University of Illinois at Chicago and his M.D. from University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria. He completed his medical internship, neurology residency, and his two-year Edmond J. Safra Fellowship in Movement Disorders at McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University. During his fellowship, Dr. Shetty received specialized training in deep brain stimulation and other advanced therapeutics for Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders. He will stay on as faculty at Northwestern in Chicago as a movement disorders specialist with a focus in DBS and advanced therapeutics.

  • Juliana Coleman, MD

    Juliana Coleman, MD

    Instructor, Department of Neurology
    University of Alabama, Birmingham
    Birmingham, Alabama

    Fellowship Site: University of Alabama at Birmingham; Birmingham, Alabama

    Juliana diagnoses and treats patients with movement disorders, including Parkinson’s disease. She focuses on deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery and programming. She plans to pursue a career as a clinician-educator. She currently designs curricula and teaches medical students to perform the neurologic exam more effectively.

  • Grace Crotty, MD, MB BCh BAO, MRCPI

    Grace Crotty, MD, MB BCh BAO, MRCPI

    Instructor of Neurology
    Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School
    Boston, Massachusetts

    Fellowship Site: Massachusetts General Hospital; Boston, Massachusetts

    Grace cares for people with Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders. Her research explores the interaction between genes and the environment. A better understanding of this relationship could identify disease-modifying therapies for individuals with Parkinson’s disease and lead to the development of preventative trials in at-risk genetic carriers.

  • Eric Jackowiak, MD

    Eric Jackowiak, MD

    Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology
    Medical College of Wisconsin and Milwaukee VA Medical Center
    Milwaukee, Wisconsin

    Fellowship Site: University of Michigan; Ann Arbor, Michigan

    Eric provides comprehensive clinical care to people living with Parkinson disease and other movement disorders. In doing so, he enjoys building connections with patients and their loved ones. He also has a special interest in educating the next generation of neurologists. His research during The Edmond J. Safra Fellowship examined the caregiver experience of deep brain stimulation for Parkinson’s disease.

  • Greg Khulman, MD, MBA

    Greg Kuhlman, MD, MBA

    Assistant Professor
    University of Cincinnati Department of Neurology & Rehabilitation Medicine
    Cincinnati, Ohio

    Fellowship Site: Toronto Western Hospital; Ontario, Canada

    Greg’s clinical work is focused on movement disorders with an interest in Parkinson’s disease. His research involves developing more effective web-based educational tools for people with Parkinson’s disease and care partners.

  • Kimberly Kwei, MD, PhD

    Kimberly Kwei, MD, PhD

    Assistant Professor, Movement Disorders Division
    Columbia University
    New York, New York

    Fellowship Site: Columbia University Medical Center; New York, New York

    Kimberly evaluates and treats patients with a multitude of movement disorders but has a special interest in the various gait disorders that affect patients with Parkinson's disease. Her research centers on examining the underlying neuronal pathways that cause gait dysfunction via neuromodulation systems.

  • Anne Weissbach, MD

    Anne Weissbach, MD

    Assistant professor and Group Leader, Movement Disorders Unit
    Institute of Neurogenetics and the Institute of Systems Motor Science, University of Lübeck
    Lübeck, Germany

     

    Fellowship Site: University of Lübeck; Lübeck, Germany

    Anne has a strong research interest in the neurophysiology of patients with monogenic dystonia and Parkinson’s such as Parkin and PINK1-associated Parkinson’s. She uses transcranial magnetic stimulation to investigate motor network alterations and analyzes how they can be modified by therapeutic approaches such as dopaminergic treatment and deep brain stimulation. 

  • Katie Amodeo, MD

    Katherine Amodeo, MD

    Movement Disorders Specialist
    Department of Neurology
    Westchester Medical Center- MidHudson Regional Hospital
    Poughkeepsie, New York

    Assistant Professor of Neurology
    School of Medicine at New York Medical College
    Valhalla, New York

    Fellowship Site: University of Rochester; Rochester, New York

    Katherine evaluates and treats patients with neurological disorders, with a focus in movement and cognitive disorders. Her research focuses on identifying modifiable risk factors for cognitive impairment with the goal of mitigating risk for dementia in those with Parkinson’s disease and prodromal dementia with Lewy bodies. 

  • Sarah Horn, MD

    Sarah Horn, MD

    Assistant Professor of Neurology
    University of Texas Medical School
    San Antonio, Texas

    Fellowship Site: University of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    Sarah cares for patients with Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders. Her comparative effectiveness outcomes research focuses on determining which interventions work best for patients to improve the quality of care.

  • Katherine Leaver, MD

    Katherine Leaver, MD

    Faculty Member
    Division of Movement Disorders
    Mount Sinai Beth Israel
    New York, New York

    Fellowship Site: Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai; New York City, New York

    Katherine diagnoses and manages patients with complex movement disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease and parkinsonism. She also runs several clinical trials. Her main research interests include examining LRRK2 mutation Parkinson’s disease and deep brain stimulation outcomes.

  • Jessica Weinstein, MD

    Jessica Weinstein, MD

    Neurologist
    Kaiser Permanente Antioch Medical Center
    Antioch, California

    San Francisco VA Medical Center
    San Francisco, California

    Fellowship Site: University of California, San Francisco; San Francisco, California

    Jessica’s medical practice focuses on care for underserved and relatively rural populations in California. She is the only trained movement disorder in the area and actively involved in the sole Parkinson’s disease support group in the region. Jessica is interested in the management of motor, non-motor and palliative care needs of people living with movement disorders.

  • Natalie Witek, MD

    Natalie Witek, MD, MS

    Assistant Professor
    Division of Movement Disorders/Neurology
    Rush University
    Chicago, Illinois

    Fellowship Site: Rush University; Chicago, Illinois

    Natalie divides her time between treating patients with Parkinson’s disease and other immune-mediated movement disorders and researching biomarkers (objective measures to diagnose and track disease). She is particularly focused on studying immune markers in patients with Parkinson’s to help target individuals who might respond better to certain types of treatments.

  • David Breen

    David P. Breen, MRCP (Neurol), PhD

    Honorary Consultant Neurologist and Senior Clinical Research Fellow
    University of Edinburgh
    Edinburgh, Scotland

    Fellowship Site: Toronto Western Hospital; Ontario, Canada

    David treats movement disorder patients while leading research into their conditions. He is developing a new program at the Anne Rowling Regenerative Neurology Clinic to care for people and connect them to research studies. His research looks to understand genetic and environmental risk factors for Parkinson's as well as the influence of sleep on brain health and how it impacts risk of developing diseases such as Parkinson's.

  • Marissa Dean, MD

    Marissa Dean, MD

    Assistant Professor of Neurology
    UAB (University of Alabama at Birmingham)
    Birmingham, Alabama

    Fellowship Site: UAB (University of Alabama at Birmingham); Birmingham, Alabama

    Marissa evaluates and treats people with all types of movement disorders, including Parkinson's, Huntington's, ataxia and others. She also runs several clinical trials. Her main research interests are the genetics of movement disorders, underrepresented populations in Parkinson's studies, including African-Americans, and the education of patients, families and medical students about Parkinson’s.

  • Lenora Higginbotham, MD

    Lenora Higginbotham, MD

    Assistant Professor of Neurology
    Emory University
    Atlanta, Georgia

    Fellowship Site: Emory University; Atlanta, Georgia

    Lenora divides her time between treating people with movement disorders in the clinic and researching biomarkers (objective measures to diagnose and track disease) in the lab. She is particularly focused on biomarkers for Parkinson’s and atypical parkinsonisms, conditions that can mimic Parkinson’s disease and, like Parkinson’s, do not yet have diagnostic tests.

  • Christine Kim, MD

    Christine Kim, MD

    Assistant Professor of Neurology, Division of Movement Disorders
    Columbia University
    New York, New York

    Fellowship Site: Columbia University; New York, New York

    Christine evaluates and treats patients with movement disorders and, at the same time, directs research into these conditions. Her work centers on focal dystonia, a condition that causes involuntary muscle contractions and postures in one body part. She’s especially interested in understanding and treating musicians’ dystonia because of her background as a violinist.

  • Gerrit Machetanz, MD

    Gerrit Machetanz, MD

    Clinician-researcher
    Technical University of Munich
    Munich, Germany

    Fellowship Site: University of Tübingen; Tübingen, Germany

    Gerrit evaluates and treats patients with Parkinson’s and Atypical Parkinsonian Disorders. He also serves as an investigator on Parkinson's and other movement disorder trials and is working on separating the different underlying mechanisms of Parkinson's to advance personalized treatment approaches.

The Edmond J. Safra Fellows in Training

At the current time, 11 physicians are in training with world-renowned movement disorder specialists at esteemed institutions across the world to hone their diagnostic, treatment and research skills so that upon graduation they are experts in both patient care and research.

  • Aditya Boddu, MD

    University of Alabama at Birmingham – Birmingham, Alabama

    Aditya completed medical school at Gandhi Medical College in Hyderabad, India and neurology residency at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri. As a resident, his interactions with Parkinson’s patients offered profound insights into the human condition and showed him the impact that a well-trained and compassionate physician can have on the lives of patients and their families. As a fellow, he intends to build his clinical acumen as a neurologist and engage in research to further understanding of complex movement disorders.

  • Conor Fearon, BE, MB, BCh, BAO, MRCPI, PhD

    University of Alabama at Birmingham – Birmingham, Alabama

    Aditya completed medical school at Gandhi Medical College in Hyderabad, India and neurology residency at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri. As a resident, his interactions with Parkinson’s patients offered profound insights into the human condition and showed him the impact that a well-trained and compassionate physician can have on the lives of patients and their families. As a fellow, he intends to build his clinical acumen as a neurologist and engage in research to further understanding of complex movement disorders.

  • Eoin Mulroy, MB, BCh, BAO

    UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology - London, England

    Eoin completed medical school at University College Dublin and neurology residency at Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona. Since 2018, he has worked as a movement disorder clinical and research fellow at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in London, England. He is passionate about movement disorder neurology and actively involved in clinical research and has published over 40 peer-reviewed journal articles.

  • Chintan Shah, MD

    Baylor College of Medicine - Houston, Texas

    Chintan completed medical school at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in El Paso, Texas and neurology residency at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. Chintan hopes to continue his growth as a neurologist and focus on building lasting relationships with patients living with Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders. The fellowship will facilitate his commitment to bridging the gap between basic and clinical research and its clinical application to patients.

  • Juan Toledo Atucha, MD, PhD

    The Norman Fixel Institute for Neurological Diseases at University of Florida Health - Gainesville, Florida

    Juan completed medical school at University of Navarra in Pamplona, Spain and neurology residency at Houston Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas. During fellowship, Juan hopes to achieve clinical expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of movement disorders and to start building his career as a movement disorder physician-scientist. He hopes to characterize pre-symptomatic diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases and design strategies for the characterization of disease subtypes that could lead to personalized treatments and prognosis.

  • Pavan Vaswani, MD, PhD

    University of Pennsylvania – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    Pavan completed medical school at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland and neurology residency through the Harvard Neurology Residency Program at Brigham and Women’s and Massachusetts General Hospitals in Boston, Massachusetts. He plans to advance the treatment of patients with Parkinson disease and other movement disorders by gaining expertise during his fellowship and conducting clinical research to improve early diagnosis and expand available treatment options.

  • Sergio Andrés Castillo-Torres, MD

    Fleni Hospital - Buenos Aires, Argentina

    Sergio Castillo-Torres is a clinical neurologist, currently working as an assistant professor of neurology at the Hospital Universitario (Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León), a teaching hospital in Monterrey, Mexico. He decided to become a neurologist because of the intellectual challenges of the neurological examination and lesion localization. Early in his training, he became thrilled by the protean clinical manifestations of movement disorders and decided to pursue specialization in this field to provide the best care for patients given the scarcity of specialists.

  • Stephen Joza, MD, PhD

    The Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre – Montreal, Canada

    Steve Joza completed a doctorate in pathobiology at the University of Toronto, medical degree at Queen’s University at Kingston, and neurology residency at the University of Alberta. He is excited to start his fellowship training in movement disorders with a focus on researching the early prodromal stages of Parkinson’s disease.

  • Poornima Jayadev Menon, MB BCh BAO LRCPI and SI, MRCPI, DTMH

    Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital - Paris, France

    Poornima Jayadev Menon is currently completing her third year of neurology training in Ireland and undertaking a Masters in Genomic Medicine at Cambridge University. Through the Edmond J. Safra Fellowship, she hopes to gain a deeper understanding into the pathophysiology of Parkinson’s disease, the genetic variants responsible for this condition and the evolution of this disease. She aspires to contribute to the cumulative effort of developing a therapy that can prevent progression for patients with Parkinson’s disease. She is excited to spend the next two years learning clinical skills from the phenomenal physicians at the ICM as she pursues her ambition of becoming a movement disorders physician.

  • Andrea Sujung Yoo, MD

    Mount Sinai Beth Israel Medical Center - New York, New York

    Andrea Yoo was born in South Korea; raised in Queens, New York; and completed her undergraduate studies at Cornell University.  At NYU Grossman School of Medicine, she fostered her interest in movement disorders studying art therapy intervention and visual spatial processing in Parkinson’s disease. She is Chief Resident in Neurology at New York Presbyterian-Weill Cornell and is researching chemodenervation for cervical dystonia and migraines. As an Edmond J. Safra Fellow at Mount Sinai Beth Israel, she hopes to expand her clinical knowledge to multiple areas in movement disorders and pursue clinical research in Parkinson’s disease, including disease-modifying agents and novel targets for non-motor symptoms.

  • Jun Yu, MD, MS

    The Norman Fixel Institute for Neurological Diseases at University of Florida Health - Gainesville, Florida

    Jun “John” Yu is currently a neurology resident and aspiring movement disorders fellow at the University of Florida Norman Fixel Institute for Neurological Diseases. His clinical and research interest in neuromodulation therapies for Parkinson’s disease stemmed from his longstanding fascination with brain networks and advanced technologies. As a determined clinician-scientist, Dr. Yu aims to hone his skills for a successful academic career providing comprehensive, interdisciplinary, patient-centered care for individuals with PD and advancing understanding of basal ganglia circuits and physiology through the continued innovation and optimization of neuromodulation therapies.

  • Laura Armengou García, MD, PhD

    Toronto Western Hospital – Ontario, Canada

    Laura is a Spanish physician, currently in the fourth year of neurology residency training at the Clinica Universidad de Navarra in Spain. During her two-year fellowship at Toronto Western Hospital, she intends to further her knowledge on the pathogenesis of all neurological diseases with movement disorders, especially Parkinson's disease. Her goal as a physician is to provide the best possible care to patients with these disorders. To achieve this, she says she must expand her clinical and research expertise and develop first rate teamwork skills.

  • Milan Beckers, MD, PhD

    Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre – Nijmegen, the Netherlands

    After obtaining his medical degree from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands and completing a master's thesis on deep brain stimulation for tremor, Milan completed his neurology residency at Zuyderland Medical Centre. He then completed a six-month elective at the Center of Expertise for Parkinson & Movement Disorders in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. During his residency he engaged in various research projects and now prepares for a PhD project on Parkinson’s disease, which he will conduct during his fellowship. Through fellowship, he aspires to advance his competence in multidisciplinary care for patients with movement disorders, with special attention to improving access to care for underserved communities.

  • Stephen Berger, MD, PhD

    Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine – Baltimore, Maryland

    Stephen's interest in neurodegeneration dates to a high school internship at NIH, where he worked primarily on the genetics of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Frontotemporal Dementia. He is completing an MD-PhD program at NYU, where his research focuses on cellular neuroscience. During fellowship, he plans to focus on the cellular and genetic mechanisms of disease progression in Lewy body dementia and related forms of atypical parkinsonism. His long-term goal is to assist patients with these diseases, while gleaning broadly applicable insights into classical Parkinson's disease.

  • José Ricardo López Castellanos, MD

    Emory University – Atlanta, Georgia

    Ricardo López Castellanos was born and raised in El Salvador, where he obtained his MD degree and became interested in movement disorders. While participating in PD support groups, he developed a passion for patient empowerment through education. He then completed a movement disorder research fellowship at the University of Cincinnati, where he studied autonomic dysfunction in PD and the use of technology and objective measures to improve patients’ quality of life. Currently, he is completing neurology residency at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, where he serves as a chief resident.

  • Francesca Magrinelli, MD, PhD

    University College London – London, England

    Francesca completed medical school and neurology residency at the University of Verona in Italy. Her PhD focused on clinicogenetic correlations in dystonia. She is passionate about deep phenotyping and genotype-phenotype interactions in movement disorders. For several years, she worked as a movement disorder clinical and research fellow at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery and Neurogenetics laboratory at UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology in London. She is involved in clinical transitional research and has published more than 50 peer-reviewed articles. Through fellowship, she aims to master the diagnosis and treatment of movement disorders and strengthen bridging competencies in the neurogenetics of this field.

  • Leila Saadatpour, MD

    Cleveland Clinic – Cleveland, Ohio

    Leila received her medical degree from the Isfahan University of Medical Sciences in Iran. She completed two years of research training at the University of Florida. She now is completing neurology residency at the University of Texas in San Antonio. During her two-year fellowship, she aims to continue training in micro-electrode recording (MER) and researching deep brain stimulation (DBS). She says The Edmond J. Safra Fellowship in Movement Disorders affords her the opportunity to achieve her goal of expanding clinical, procedural and research skills as a clinical-investigator in movement disorders and neurodegenerative diseases.

  • Christina Behrend Swan, MD, PhD

    Rush University Medical Center – Chicago, Illinois

    Christina is a neurology resident at the University of Pennsylvania with a particular interest in neural circuit dysfunction in Parkinson’s disease and neural stimulation technologies. She completed an MD-PhD program at Duke University with a research focus on beta frequency oscillations and bradykinesia. She aspires to pursue a clinically based career in movement disorders within an academic hospital system to combine her passion for clinical neurology with opportunities for clinical research and teaching. In fellowship, she hopes to gain expertise in both the clinical practice of movement disorders and surgical mapping for deep brain stimulation.

  • Rebecca Williamson, MD, PhD

    University of Pennsylvania – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    Rebecca has a longstanding interest in neurodegenerative conditions and combining scientific discovery with clinical practice. She completed a doctorate in neuroscience and medical degree at Columbia University. Rebecca currently serves as Chief Resident at the Harvard Neurology Residency Program at Brigham and Women’s, and Massachusetts General Hospitals. In her movement disorders fellowship, Rebecca looks forward to forging trusted, compassionate relationships with her patients and families as they navigate chronic disease. At the University of Pennsylvania, Rebecca looks forward to engaging in translational research in genetics underlying Parkinson’s and related disorders, with a goal of bringing personalized medicine into the movement disorders clinic.

More Resources

  • icon 1

    See a PD Specialist

    The MDS Movement Disorders Specialist Finder can help you locate a doctor in your area.

  • icon 3

    Contact an Edmond J. Safra Fellow

    Edmond J. Safra Fellowship alumni provide expert care to people and families with Parkinson’s around the world. Find a fellowship graduate in your area.

  • icon 2

    Apply to the Program

    Medical centers around the world that are interested in training a new movement disorder clinician-researcher may be eligible for funding.

“We’re grateful to be working together to increase the number of highly specialized neurologists who can help patients live better with Parkinson’s disease and speed progress toward a cure.”
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