|WPC Scientific Update 2015|
Sunil Agrawal (USA) obtained a PhD degree in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University in 1990 with emphasis on robotics, dynamics, and control. He currently directs the Robotics and Rehabilitation Laboratory (ROAR) and Robotic Systems Engineering Laboratory (ROSE), which have an active group of PhD, MS, UG, and post-doctoral researchers. Dr. Agrawal’s current and past research has focused on the design of intelligent machines using non-linear system theoretic principles, computational algorithms for planning and optimization, design of novel rehabilitation machines, and training algorithms for functional rehabilitation of neural impaired adults and children. (see: http://scholar.google.com/citations?user=sXU3cgUAAAAJ&hl=en)
Krystof Bankiewicz (USA) received his MD degree from Jagiellonian University in Crakow and his PhD degree from the Institute of Neurology and Psychiatry in Warsaw, Poland. After his residency and an appointment as Assistant Professor with the Post-graduate Medical Center in Warsaw, he received a Fogarty Fellowship and became a Visiting Fellow and then Visiting Associate Scientist with the Surgical Neurology Branch of the NINDS at the NIH in Bethesda, Maryland. There, he became Chief of the Central Nervous System (CNS) Implantation Unit in 1991.
Shortly afterward, he came to California to serve as Chief of Preclinical Studies with the Somatix Therapy Corporation in Alameda; the Director of the Division of CNS Implantation and Regeneration with The Parkinson's Institute in Sunnyvale, and from 1994-1998, a Visiting Scientist with the Laboratory for Functional Imaging of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. From 1997-2001 he returned to the NIH as Acting Chief of the Molecular Therapeutics Section of NINDS. He has been Professor of Neurological Surgery and a Principal Investigator with the Movement Disorders Research Program and the Brain Tumor Research Center at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) since 1998.
Roger Barker (UK) is the Professor of Clinical neuroscience at the University of Cambridge and is an Honorary Consultant Neurologist at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge. He trained in Oxford and St Thomas’ Hospital in London and after completing his general medical training undertook a PhD at Cambridge on neural grafting before completing his neurology training including working with the late David Marsden. He set up his own research group in 1997 and now runs a laboratory investigating basic and clinical aspects of Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease. He has been involved in gene and cell based trials for patients with these conditions and currently co-ordinates an EU funded transplant programme using human fetal tissue for patients with PD. He has published over 300 papers and is Co-Editor in Chief of the Journal of Neurology.
He presented at the WPC 2006, WPC 2010, and WPC 2013 as part of the faculty.
David Burn (UK) is Professor of Movement Disorder Neurology at Newcastle University and Honorary Consultant Neurologist for Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals Foundation Trust. He is Director of the University’s Institute of Neuroscience, Director of the NIHR Biomedical Research Unit in Lewy Body Dementia and a Senior NIHR Investigator. He is also National Clinical Director for Parkinson’s UK.
David runs the Movement Disorders service in Newcastle upon Tyne, providing a large regional service. He is an Officer of the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society, having previously Chaired their Congress Scientific Programme Committee. He has published over 220 articles in peer reviewed journals.
He presented at the WPC 2010, and WPC 2013 as part of the faculty.
Bezard is the director of a CNRS research unit located in Bordeaux, the Institute of Neurodegenerative Diseases, which features preclinical and clinical researchers working towards development of therapeutic solutions. He is also a Visiting Professor at the China Academy of Medical Sciences (Beijing, China) where he has set-up and manages a non-human primate facility dedicated to Movement Disorders. He serves on the board of international organizations such as the Michael J. Fox Foundation and Parkinson’s UK. He is Associate Editor of Neurobiology of Disease, a leading journal in the field. He serves on the editorial boards of several other neurobiology journals. Besides consulting for several drug companies in the field of movement disorders, he is a non-executive director of Plenitudes Sarl (France) and Chief Scientific Officer of Motac Neuroscience (UK).
He presented at the WPC 2006 and WPC 2013 as part of the faculty.
K. Ray Chaudhuri (UK) is a Professor in Neurology/Movement Disorders, Consultant Neurologist at Kings College Hospital and Kings College, London, an Academic Health Sciences CentreHe is the Medical Director of the National Parkinson Foundation International Centre of Excellence at Kings College, London. He sits on the Nervous Systems Committee of UK Department of Health, National Institute of Health Research, and serves as co-chairman of the appointments/liaison committee of the Movement Disorders Society and is currently serving as member of the Scientific Programme Committee (2013-2015). He is the Chairman of the newly-formed MDS non motor study group. He is also a member of the WFN and WCN organizational committee, the task force of practice parameter group for PD and RLS and, more recently, Non Motor Symptoms of Parkinson’s, American Academy Neurology. Dr. Chaudhuri is the European Editor of Basal Ganglia and is on the editorial board of Parkinsonism and Related Disorders and Journal of Parkinson’s Disease. Recently, he has been elected as the co-editor in chief for the new Nature Parkinson’s Journal. He also represents UK research and development in the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) as well as at a local level for London South CLRN neurosciences. He serves in the clinical advisory group of Parkinson’s UK and is an advisor to the European Parkinson’s Disease Association.
Dr. Ray Chaudhuri is the author of 290 papers including reviews, book chapters, co-editor of four books on Parkinson’s disease and Restless Legs Syndrome, and over 300 published peer-reviewed abstracts. He is the chief editor of the first comprehensive textbook on non-motor aspects of Parkinson’s, published by Oxford University Press and recipient of British Medical Association book commendation prize. He has contributed extensively to educational radio and television interviews including BBC and CNN, newspaper articles and videos. Dr. Ray Chaudhuri has also lectured extensively on PD and restless legs syndrome at international meetings in the USA, Japan, continental Europe, South America, South Africa, India and Australia. His major research interests are continuous drug delivery treatment of PD and restless legs syndrome, Parkinsonism in minority ethnic groups and sleep problems in Parkinson’s disease. In 2005, he was awarded the DSc degree by the University of London and received his Kings College Chair in neurology in 2007.
He presented at the WPC 2010 and WPC 2013 as part of the faculty.
Marie-Francoise Chesselet (USA) is the Charles H. Markham Professor of Neurology and distinguished Professor in the Department of Neurology and the Department of Neurobiology at UCLA. After receiving her M.D. and Ph.D. degrees in Paris, France, she held research positions in France and faculty positions at the Medical College of Pennsylvania and the University of Pennsylvania, before joining UCLA in 1996. At UCLA, Chesselet chaired the Department of Neurobiology from 2002 to 2013 and is currently the Director of the Integrative Center for Neural Repair, which includes the Center for the Study of Parkinson’s Disease at UCLA she created in 1998. She has directed the NIH-funded UCLA UDALL Center for Parkinson’s disease research (NINDS; 1998-2013) and UCLA Center for Gene Environment in Parkinson’s Disease (NIEHS; 2002-2014), and the UCLA Advanced Center for Parkinson’s Disease Research of the American Parkinson Disease Association since 1998. Chesselet has directed graduate programs at the University of Pennsylvania and UCLA and has directed the NINDS-funded Training Program in Neural Repair since 1998. Her laboratory conducts research on the molecular mechanisms of disorders of the basal ganglia and new treatments for Parkinson’s and Huntington’s diseases. Her work is supported by the NIH, the Department of Defense, the Michael J. Fox Foundation, CIRM, and biopharmaceutical companies. Chesselet is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Chair-elect of its section on Neuroscience. She serves on the National Advisory Environmental Health Sciences Council (NIEHS Council).
She presented at the WPC 2006, WPC 2010, and WPC 2013 as part of the faculty.
Gammon Earhart (USA) is a physical therapist and neuroscientist whose work focuses on the neural control and rehabilitation of movement, particularly gait and balance, in Parkinson disease. Gammon completed her physical therapy training at Arcadia University, her PhD at Washington University in St. Louis and a postdoctoral fellowship at Oregon Health & Science University. She is currently Director of the Program in Physical Therapy at Washington University School of Medicine, where she is a Professor of Physical Therapy, Anatomy & Neurobiology, and Neurology. She leads both the Locomotor Control Laboratory and the Physical Activity Research Center. She is also President of the American Physical Therapy Association Section on Research. Gammon has authored over 100 scientific publications and garnered grant support for her research from many sources including the National Institutes of Health, Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, American Parkinson Disease Association and Davis Phinney Foundation. Gammon’s research on the benefits of dance for people with PD has been featured in the New York Times, in Oliver Sacks’ book Musicophilia, on National Public Radio, and in numerous other media outlets. Gammon’s achievements have also been recognized by various honors including the Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award from Washington University in St. Louis, the Friedman Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Advancement of Geriatric Care, the Arcadia University Alumni Achievement Award, and the Eugene Michels New Investigator Award from the American Physical Therapy Association.
She presented at the WPC 2013 as part of the faculty.
Tiago Outeiro (Germany) graduated in Biochemistry at the University of Porto and was an Erasmus student at the University of Leeds in the UK. Prof. Outeiro did his PhD thesis at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical research – MIT and worked as a Research Scientist at FoldRx Pharmaceuticals as a Research Scientist and Consultant.
Tom Foltynie (UK) is Senior Lecturer and Honorary Consultant Neurologist at the Sobell Department of Motor Neuroscience at the UCL Institute of Neurology and National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queen Square, London. He completed Neurology training in Cambridge where he undertook his PhD in the Epidemiology & genetics of Parkinson’s disease. He is responsible for Movement disorder patients, particularly PD patients undergoing advanced treatments such as DBS, Apomorphine and Duodopa. He is chief investigator for a trial of Exenatide- a potential neurorestorative treatment for PD, as well as the lead clinician at UCL for a multi-centre trial of fetal dopaminergic cell transplantation for PD, and a proposed trial of Deep Brain stimulation as a treatment for the cognitive problems associated with advanced PD. Dr Foltynie is also leading a trial of Deep Brain Stimulation for the treatment of patients with severe Tourette syndrome. Aside from trial involvement, PD patients with and without DBS are being recruited to research looking at the influence of genetics on PD risk and clinical progression, and the use of functional imaging to explore the mechanism of action of DBS surgery.
Jennifer G. Goldman (USA) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Neurological Sciences, Section of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, IL, USA. Dr. Goldman is a movement disorder neurologist with specialty training in Behavioral Neurology and Neuropsychiatry. Her research focuses on understanding and improving treatments for cognitive and behavioral features of Parkinson's disease and parkinsonian disorders using neuroimaging and other biomarkers. Dr. Goldman graduated from Princeton University and received her M.D. from Northwestern University Medical School. She completed her neurology residency training at Washington University in St. Louis, followed by a movement disorder fellowship and a Master of Science degree in Clinical Research at Rush University in Chicago. She is board certified by the American Board of Neurology and Psychiatry as well as in its subspecialty, Behavioral Neurology and Neuropsychiatry. As a movement disorder specialist, Dr. Goldman treats patients with Parkinson's disease, atypical parkinsonian disorders, dementia with Lewy bodies, dystonia, and other movement-related conditions. Her research focuses on understanding and improving treatments for cognitive and behavioral features of Parkinson's disease and parkinsonian disorders using advanced neuroimaging MRI scans and other biomarkers. Her work has been funded by NIH, Michael J. Fox Foundation, Rush University, and the Parkinson's Disease Foundation. She has published multiple research articles and book chapters on Parkinson's disease, cognition, and other movement disorders. Dr. Goldman was the 2013 recipient of the Rush University Faculty Award for Excellence in Education and has lectured nationally and internationally on Parkinson's disease. Dr. Goldman is the co-chair of the Parkinson’s Study Group Biomarkers Working Group and on the Steering Committees of the Movement Disorders Society Task Force on Parkinson’s disease-Mild Cognitive Impairment (PD-MCI) and Michael J. Fox Foundation BioFIND biomarkers study. She also serves on the Lewy Body Dementia Association Scientific Advisory Committee, Movement Disorder Society PanAmerican Education Committee, and the Dystonia Foundation’s Medical Advisory Committee for Musicians with Dystonia.
Etienne Hirsch (France) is a neurobiologist involved in research on Parkinson’s disease and related disorders. He obtained his PhD in 1988 from the University of Paris VI (Pierre et Marie Curie). He is currently the associate director of CRICM and head of "Experimental therapeutics of Neurodegeneration” at the CRICM at Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital in Paris and councilor for Neuroscience, Neurology and Psychiatry at the French Ministry for higher education and research. He has also been appointed director of the national Institute (ITMO) for neurosciences, cognitive sciences, neurology and psychiatry. His work is aimed at understanding the cause of neuronal degeneration in Parkinson’s disease and is focused on the role of the glial cells, the inflammatory cytokines and apoptosis but also on the consequences of neuronal degeneration in the circuitries downstream to the lesions. He is member of several advisory boards including, French Society for Neuroscience (past-President), Scientific Advisory board at INSERM. He obtained several prizes including Tourette Syndrome Association Award in1986, Young researcher Award, European Society for Neurochemistry in 1990, Grand Prix de l’Académie de Sciences, Prix de la Fondation pour la recherche biomédicale « Prix François Lhermitte » in 1999, Chevalier de l’ordre des palmes académiques in 2009, Prix Raymond et Aimée Mande of the French National academy of Medicine in 2011, Member of the French National Academy of Pharmacy in 2011. He is author of more than 200 peer reviewed articles.
He presented at the WPC 2006, WPC 2010, and WPC 2013 as part of the faculty.
Fay Horak (USA) is professor of neurology at the Oregon Health and Science University and the Portland VA Medical Center. Dr. Horak studies the neurophysiological basis of balance and gait disorders and their rehabilitation. She is well known her work on the role of the basal ganglia, cerebellum and sensory systems in balance disorders and relates quantitative measures of mobility to functional brain imaging. Dr. Horak’s clinical impact has been on developing comprehensive balance screening tools and translating these tools into objective measures using body-worn sensors for clinical trials and clinical practice.
She presented at the WPC 2006, WPC 2010, and WPC 2013 as part of the faculty.
Jeffrey Kordower (USA) is the Jean Schweppe-Armour Professor of Neurological Sciences, Professor of Neurosurgery, Director, Research Center for Brain Repair, and Section Head of Neuroscience at Rush University Medical Center. He received his BA and MA from the City University of New York and his PhD in Neuropsychology from that same institution in 1984. He received an Honorary Doctor of Science from that same institution in 2004.
Andrew Singleton (USA) received his B.Sc. from the University of Sunderland, UK and his Ph.D. from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. Dr Singleton’s research initially focused on genetic determinants of dementia, in particular Alzheimer’s disease and dementia with Lewy bodies. His postdoctoral studies were spent at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville Florida. Dr Singleton moved to the National Institute on Aging at NIH Bethesda, MD in 2001 and became a principal investigator leading the Molecular Genetics Unit in 2002. In 2007 Dr Singleton became a tenured senior investigator at the National Institute on Aging and in 2008 became the Chief of the Laboratory of Neurogenetics.
Dr. Singleton has published more than 400 articles on a wide variety of topics. His laboratory comprises ~50 staff, including four principal investigators and 3 group leaders. His laboratory works on the genetic basis of neurological disorders including Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer’s disease, dystonia, ataxia, dementia, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The goal of this research is to identify genetic variability that causes or contributes to disease and to use this knowledge to understand the molecular processes underlying disease.
Dr. Singleton currently serves on the scientific advisory board of the Michael J. Fox Foundation and the Lewy Body Dementia Association; he is a member of the editorial boards of Neurodegenerative Diseases, Neurogenetics, Movement Disorders, Brain (Associate Editor, Genetics), Lancet Neurology, the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease, the Journal of Huntington’s Disease and Annals of Neurology. Dr. Singleton was awarded the Boehringer Mannheim Research Award in 2005, the NIH Director’s Award in 2008, and the Annemarie Opprecht Award in 2008. In 2012 Dr. Singleton became the first person to win the Jay van Andel Award for Outstanding Achievement in Parkinson’s Disease Research.
He presented at the WPC 2006 and WPC 2010 as part of the faculty. He was slated to present at the WPC 2013 but the US government shutdown kept him from attending!
Peter LeWitt (USA) who directs the Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Program at Henry Ford Hospital in West Bloomfield, was appointed Professor of Neurology at Wayne State University School of Medicine in 1990. A graduate of Brown University School of Medicine (and also awarded a M.Med.Sc. in Biochemical Pharmacology), his neurology residency training was at Stanford University School of Medicine. His completed fellowship training in experimental therapeutics at the National Institute of Neurological and Communicative Disorders. In addition to conducting clinical trials for Parkinson’s disease and other neurological disorders, his research interests have also included animal models and biomarkers of neurological disease, pharmacokinetic analysis, and gene therapy for Parkinson’s disease. He is the author of more than 300 publications in basic and clinical neuroscience.
He presented at the WPC 2013 as part of the faculty.
Andres Lozano (Canada) holds the rank of University Professor and serves as Chairman of the Division of Neurosurgery at the University of Toronto. He also holds both the R.R. Tasker Chair in Functional Neurosurgery at University Health Network and a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Neuroscience.
He presented at the WPC 2006 and WPC 2013 as part of the faculty.
Giselle Petzinger (USA) is a Movement Disorders Specialist and neuroscientist at University of Southern California. She completed her MD at the University of Southern California, Residency at Yale University, and Movement Disorders Fellowship at Columbia University. Her research investigates exercise-dependent mechanisms of Neuroplasticity and brain repair in the injured basal ganglia, focusing on Parkinson’s disease. Ongoing clinical studies investigate the differential effects of skill based versus aerobic exercise on cognitive and motor circuitry and functional imaging. She also works in basic research using animal models of PD and HD to investigate exercise effects on dopamine and glutamatergic neurotransmission in regulating synaptic function, brain circuitry and motor learning and to better understand the peripheral effects of exercise on brain plasticity. The emphasis of her research is to translate findings gained from animal studies to human clinical trials in order to examine the potential effects of exercise in modifying disease and in order to identify novel therapeutic targets for neuro-restoration. She has authored many papers on exercise and neuroplasticity in Parkinson’s disease and has presented at numerous international and national conferences and has participated in a number of platform discussions on the role of healthy lifestyle and neuro-rehabilitation in neurodegenerative diseases and aging. She is also interested in establishing educational modalities regarding healthy lifestyle for all ages and in the medical and non-medical communities both here in the US and abroad.
Richard Smeyne (USA) is currently a Full Member of the Department of Developmental Neurobiology at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and Affiliated Full Professor in the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology at the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center. He received his Ph.D. in Neuroanatomy in 1989 from Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, PA in the lab of Daniel Goldowitz, PhD. Where he examined the development of the cerebellum of the weaver mouse. From 1989-1992, Dr. Smeyne was a postdoctoral fellow at the Roche Institute of Molecular Biology in the lab of Dr. James Morgan (including a collaboration with Dr. Tom Curran). At RIMB, Dr. Smeyne continued his work on cerebellar development but also was instrumental in creating one of the first transgenic mice with an inducible promoter (c-fos-lacZ). In 1992, Dr. Smeyne received his first independent appointment in the Department of Molecular Biology at the Bristol Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical Research Institute where he collaborated with Dr. Mariano Barbacid to generate and study mice lacking the NGF, BDNF and NT-3 receptors. In 1994, he left BMS to return to Hoffmann-LaRoche to head the program in Neurogenetics. After disbanding of the RIMB, Dr. Smeyne joined the faculty at St. Jude Children’s Hospital where he has worked for the past 19 years.
Research in the Smeyne lab is focused on the genetics and cell biology of Parkinson’s disease. Three major projects have taken place in the Smeyne lab over the past few years. The first, which recently garnered tremendous popular press interest along with numerous radio show appearances, demonstrated that the highly pathogenic avian influenza virus, H5N1, which has been a scourge in Southeast Asia and still has pandemic potential throughout the world, can be a predisposing etiological factor for developing Parkinson’s disease. Recently, his lab has also showed that the current circulating pandemic flu (H1N1) can also induce neuroinflammation in the brain even in the absence of any apparent neurotropism. The second project follows his longstanding work examining oxidative stress in the nervous system and its role in development of neurodegenerative diseases. In this work, Dr. Smeyne has used an animal model that recapitulates human Parkinson’s disease (PD) to determine if there was a non-pharmacological method for preventing or, at the least, lessening the damage seen in Parkinson’s disease. The Smeyne lab found aerobic exercise could prevent the all of the pathological changes seen in this Parkinson’s model, while smaller amounts of exercise over the same time period offered some, but not total protection. Recently he has identified an early molecular switch that underlies the neuroprotective influences of exercise. The third major project in the lab examines mouse models of Parkinson's disease that result from known genetic mutations. In particular, the lab has been examining mice that carry mutations in the alpha-synuclein or LRRK2 genes to inquire how alterations in these genes may interact with other environmental stressors as modifiers of disease complexity.
Jon Stoessl (Canada) is the Professor and Head of Neurology and Director of the Pacific Parkinson's Research Centre and National Parkinson Foundation Centre of Excellence at UBC and Vancouver Coastal Health and was tapped to co-chair the third World Parkinson Congress. He holds a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Parkinson's Disease and directs the CIHR Team in Parkinson's and a Pacific Alzheimer Research Foundation Centre grant on Overlap Syndromes Resulting in Dementia.
He presented at the WPC 2006 and WPC 2013 as part of the faculty.
Alexander Troster (USA) is Professor and Chair of the Department of Clinical Neuropsychology at Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center and the Director of Neuropsychology Research in the Barrow Center for Neuromodulation and the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center.
Dr. Tröster’s expertise includes the neuropsychology of memory and movement disorders (such as Parkinson’s disease and atypical parkinsonian syndromes). He has special interest and expertise in the neuropsychological evaluation of persons undergoing neuromodulation (deep brain stimulation) and other stereotactic and functional neurosurgical procedures. His contributions to the filed have been widely recognized and honored: He is a fellow of the American Psychological Association and the National Academy of Neuropsychology, Past President of the National Academy of Neuropsychology, a recipient of that academy’s distinguished scientific contributions and early career achievement awards, and is a member of numerous professional societies. He is an examiner for the American Board of Clinical Neuropsychology. He serves on grant review panels of the National Institutes of Health, the editorial boards of five professional journals and he has published almost 200 scientific and medical articles and book chapters and has edited two books.
Numerous professional societies, industry and foundations have asked Dr. Tröster to serve in advisory capacities and he has been a member of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons and Movement Disorders Society’s Consensus Group on Deep Brain Stimulation, The Movement Disorders’ Society Task Force on Mild Cognitive Impairment, The Parkinson Study Group Scientific Review Committee, and the American Psychological Association’s Society for Clinical Neuropsychology Scientific and Practice Advisory Committees. Dr. Tröster has been invited regularly to speak nationally and internationally.
Dr. Tröster is board certified as a clinical neuropsychologist. He received his Doctorate in Clinical Psychology with neuropsychology specialization from the University of California-San Diego & San Diego State University.
Andrew West (USA): The mission of the West laboratory is to identify critical pathogenic mechanisms in neurologic diseases like Parkinson’s disease, develop new and relevant systems that model these mechanisms, and develop new therapeutics that will address the immediate critical needs of those affected with disease. Dr. West co-directs the UAB Center for Neurodegeneration and Experimental Therapeutics (CNET) at UAB. CNET consists of ten laboratories focused on neurodegenerative diseases housed in the Department of Neurology. CNET faculty also includes thirty other laboratories in ten different departments at UAB and UA with primary and peripheral interests in neurodegenerative disease. The goal of CNET is to facilitate collaborative efforts in translational approaches relevant to neurodegenerative disease. Dr. West currently serves as co-Chair of the Parkinson’s Disease Biomarker Program for NIH, and is a member of the NST-2 study section that reviews K99/R00 and F31 MSTP applications for NINDS.
Background and Training: Dr. West performed research as an undergraduate in the laboratory of Todd Golde focused on mechanisms of Ab toxicity, trained in the laboratories of John Hardy and Matthew Farrer (Mayo Clinic Parkinson’s Udall Center) focused on the genetics and genomics of parkin-linked Parkinson’s disease, and finally performed post-doctoral work with Nigel Maidment (UCLA Udall Center) and Ted and Valina Dawson (Johns Hopkins Parkinson’s Udall Center) with a focus on LRRK2-linked Parkinson’s disease. Through a combination of training in clinical genetics, molecular and cellular neuroscience, and animal models of neurodegeneration, the West laboratory is able to approach the most pressing questions related to the neurobiology of Parkinson’s disease with a unique perspective. Dr. West was previously an F31 and F32 individual recipient and was selected in the first round of K99/R00 grantees, and was subsequently the first at NIH to activate the R00 independence award in the summer of 2007, and rapidly converted the R00 award to R01 funding in a newly founded laboratory at UAB.
Productivity: In a little over a decade, Dr. West has authored more than 50 publications characterizing biochemical mechanisms underlying Parkinson’s disease. The West laboratory has served as a hub for both parkin and LRRK2 research through sharing novel antibodies, DNA plasmids, viral systems, and protocols with dozens of laboratories around the world.