President of the Musella Foundation For Brain Tumor Research & Information, Inc. Duties include: Managing the organization, helping patients find brain tumor clinical trials, running website “Clinical Trials and Noteworthy Treatments For Brain Tumors”, fundraising, managing and approving research grants, patient advocacy and advocating for brain tumor awareness.
Doctor of Podiatric Medicine, New York College of Podiatric Medicine
BA in Biology and Chemistry, Hofstra University
AS in Science in Biology, Nassau Community College
Al Musella is a podiatrist in private practice in Hewlett, NY. He became interested in brain tumors when his sister-in-law was diagnosed with a gbm in 1992. At the time, there were no online resources for brain tumors, and no centralized listing of clinical trials. Dr Musella started the first online support group dedicated to brain tumors, on Compuserve, in January 1993. He had the members of the group survey every major hospital in the USA to find which brain tumor clinical trials were being done and published the database of trials on what later became the website “Clinical Trials and Noteworthy treatments For Brain Tumors” at virtualtrials.com. The NIH used this database as a model for what later became the clinicaltrials.gov website.
Now that there was a list of trials, we needed to find out how they were doing, so Dr Musella created the first online patient registry, called the brain tumor virtual trial, with the intent to find out which treatments are being used and the outcomes.
Dr. Musella formed the “Musella Foundation For Brain Tumor Research & Information, Inc” in 1997 to raise money for brain tumor research and to help families deal with the diagnosis of a brain tumor. He has given out more than a million dollars in research grants, with an emphasis on new treatments deemed too risky for funding through traditional routes. He funded 3 of the early brain tumor vaccine trials, which now appear to be among the most promising treatments in the pipeline. Dr. Musella was also involved in getting the FDA to approve Temodar and Avastin, as well as getting Medicare to pay for Temodar and Gliadel. He was on the committee that wrote the package insert for Temodar, and was a founder of the Grey Ribbon Crusade. Ironically, Al’s father was diagnosed with a GBM in 1999, a year after Al formed the Musella Foundation. He died quickly, in about 3 months.
The Musella Foundation now runs 10 different online support groups, the largest of which has over 2,100 members; the virtualtrials.com website – which has vital information for people dealing with a brain tumor and serves over 1.3 million visitors a year from over 200 different countries; the brain tumor news blast – with over 5,000 subscribers; and runs educational conferences for patients – with the videos posted on virtualtrials.com for free!
1980-1984: Researcher at the Stony Brook Medical Center, Dept. of Orthopedics. Research into joint replacements. I developed research methods and computer programs that resulted in the creation of new types of joint replacements for hips and elbows.
1982-1984: Foot Clinics of New York – rotations in: Podiatric Medicine, Surgery, Orthopedics, Radiology, General Podiatry, Pediatrics
1983-1984: 2 month Externship at North General Hospital, New York, NY. 2 month Externship at VA Hospital, New York City, NY. 2 month Externship at Pilgrim State hospital / Bayshore Podiatry Center, Suffolk County, NY. 2 month Externship at Martin Luther King Health Care Center, Bronx, NY.
1985-1986: 2 years of private practice under supervision of Drs. Weisenthal, Shapiro and Schwartz: New York City, NY
1985-Present: Private Practice, 5 Towns, NY. Staff Privileges, Peninsula Hospital, Far Rockaway, NY: Dept. Of Podiatry
1982: Emil Rose Scholarship. This award is given to the one student in the junior year class, who scores highest on a comprehensive examination.
1991-1992: Nassau County Podiatrist of the Year
1998: Conference Honoree, National Brain Tumor Foundation’s National Brain Tumor Conference.
2009: Voices Award, Voices Against Brain Cancer