2016 Annual Report — Parkinson's Disease Center and Movement Disorders Clinic

Nov. 15, 2016 has been designated as this year’s National Philanthropy Day. Each year we celebrate this important occasion by recognizing all the generous donors and loyal supporters of the Parkinson’s Disease Center and Movement Disorders Clinic. Thank you! Your investment in our clinical, research and educational mission is clearly paying off as highlighted below. This year I want to change the format of this annual letter by making it brief and to the point. We need your support more than ever!

In addition to providing the most expert and compassionate care the PDCMDC has been internationally recognized as being at the vanguard of research into Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders. Although we are currently conducting over 30 clinical trials, most of which are funded by the National Institutes of Health, various foundations, and industry, it is private donations and philanthropy on which we rely to conduct other important, yet unfunded, projects. These include not only research but also training of our fellows and other educational and outreach programs. 

Below are some highlights of this year’s accomplishments by the dedicated team of the PDCMDC.

Joseph Jankovic, M.D.

- During this past year Dr. Jankovic was an invited lecturer at the annual meetings of the American Academy of Neurology, other national and international conferences, and as a visiting professor at prestigious academic institutions including the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He also lectured on “Leadership” at the annual meeting of the International Parkinson and Movement Disorders Society, Berlin, Germany.

- Dr. Jankovic co-authored an important scientific article describing the discovery of a new gene causing Parkinson’s disease (Nature Genetics 2016;4:733-9).

- In recognition of over thousand published articles and dozens of books, Dr. Jankovic has been named as a Highly Cited Researcher, an honor that represents some of “world’s most influential scientific minds”, and ranking him among the top 1 percent researchers for most cited documents. Read more.

Joohi Jimenez-Shahed, M.D.

- Dr. Jimenez-Shahed was an invited speaker at the Deep Brain Stimulation Leaders Forum, American Academy of Neurology, Texas Academy of Physician Assistants, and the Houston Neurological Society.

- She was invited to participate on the medical advisory board of the Tourette Association of America and the Science Advisory Board of the Davis Phinney Foundation for Parkinson’s.

- She received the Rising Star Clinician Award from Baylor College of Medicine, established by Dr. Paul Klotman, president and CEO of Baylor College of Medicine, to recognize faculty for their exemplary qualities of clinical excellence and expertise, patient care, professionalism, commendable leadership skills and continuous service to the community.

Joshua M. Shulman, M.D., Ph.D.

- Dr. Shulman was invited to lecture at meetings of the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology (Houston, Texas), the National Institutes of Health (Bethesda, Md.), and the American Federation of Aging Research (Santa Barbara, Calif.). 

- In published and submitted work, the Shulman’s laboratory has refined simple but powerful fruit fly models relevant to Parkinson’s disease and partnered with the International Parkinson’s Disease Genetic Consortium to advance the discovery of several new gene candidates, based on genome sequencing of more than 1,000 subjects affected with Parkinson’s disease.

- Dr. Shulman received significant grant support from the National Institutes of Health for his complementary research on Alzheimer’s disease, and led an international research team discovering a new Alzheimer’s disease risk gene, TM2D3.

Christine B. Hunter, R.N., B.S.N.

- During this past year Christine Hunter was elected and serves as the coordinator representative on the executive committee of the Parkinson Study Group. 

- Developed and now serves on the task force for the Mentoring Program Committee of the Parkinson Foundation.

I hope these brief highlights provide insight into some of the clinical, research, and educational activities at the PDCMDC. 

Your generous support will enable us to continue our fellowship training program and to make advances in research that will translate into better quality of life for patients with Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders.

With warm appreciation, 

Joseph Jankovic, M.D.