It is my pleasure to briefly summarize the activities of the Parkinson's Disease Center and Movement Disorders Clinic (PDCMDC) over the past year. When I founded the PDCMDC over 35 years ago I could only dream about the international acclaim that it now receives for its accomplishments in clinical care, research and education. While compassionate and expert care continues to be our highest priority, we are also proud of the recognitions we have received for our research and educational missions. We are currently conducting over 40 research studies approved by the Institutional Review Board for Human Research and our faculty has participated in educational programs at numerous national and international meetings. This success, however, would not be possible without the generous support of our grateful patients and many other friends of the PDCMDC.
Since my last report there have been many exciting developments and achievements, some of which are highlighted below:
It is my honor to introduce two new faculty members who have recently joined
- Mary Ann Thenganatt, M.D., assistant professor of neurology received her undergraduate and medical degrees from Boston University, Boston, Mass., and completed an internship in medicine at UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, Calif., a neurology residency and a two-year fellowship in movement disorders at Columbia University Medical Center, New York, N.Y.
- Joshua M. Shulman, M.D., Ph.D. received his A.B. degree (summa cum laude) in biochemical sciences at Harvard College, Boston, Mass., Masters of Philosophy and Ph.D. in genetics, University of Cambridge, UK, and M.D. degree (summa cum laude) at Harvard Medical School & Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.). He completed internship in medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Boston, Mass., residency in neurology and clinical fellowship in movement and memory disorders at Harvard-Partners Program Brigham and Women's Hospital & MGH, and post-doc fellowship in neurogenetics at Brigham and Women's Hospital Broad Institute of Harvard/M.I.T.
The following is a list of some of the most important highlights and accomplishments by the faculty of the PDCMDC during the 2011-12 academic year:
- The PDCMDC presented over 35 scientific abstracts at the 64th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN), New Orleans, La., April '12 and at the Movement Disorder Society's 16th International Congress of Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders, Dublin, Ireland, June '12.
- Selected as a member of the AAN Science Committee and a Chair of the AAN Movement Disorders Research Award Committee, Dr. Jankovic was also invited by the AAN to organize and moderate the "Controversies in Neuroscience" session during the annual AAN meeting, New Orleans, La., April '12. Furthermore, seven books (out of total 65) co-authored and co-edited by Dr. Jankovic were featured at this year's AAN meeting (http://www.bcm.edu/neurology/parkinsons/index.cfm?pmid=22321).
- Besides on-going commitments to dozens of scientific advisory boards for national and international foundations and other organizations and editorial boards of numerous peer-reviewed journals, Dr. Jankovic was invited to join the editorial boards for the Journal of Parkinson's Disease, Parkinsonism and Related Disorders, and PeerJ.
- During the past year Dr. Jankovic published over 40 articles (out of a total >800) and continues to be listed in the prestigious publication Highly Cited Researchers (ISIHighlyCited.com).
- Dr. Jankovic was elected vice president, president-elect, and chair of Membership Committee of the International Neurotoxin Association.
- Dr. Jankovic was selected by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as a member of the Working Group to develop Huntington's disease Common Data Elements (CDEs) to be used by international researchers in future clinical trials.
- Dr. Jankovic chairs the Fundraising Committee for the 2013 World Parkinson Congress (WPC) in, Montreal, Canada and is a member of the WPC Program Committee.
- Dr. Jankovic served as a mentor for Neepa J. Patel, M.D., second year movement disorders fellow, who was awarded a $75,000 competitive grant by the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation in support of her clinical fellowship, during the academic year 2012-13.
- Dr. Jankovic has been involved in leadership positions or lectured in the following educational programs:
- Co-director and lecturer at the 22nd Annual Course "A Comprehensive Review of Movement Disorders for the Clinical Practitioner", Aspen, Colo.
- Co-chair and lecturer at the 5th International Dystonia Symposium, Barcelona, Spain, Oct. '11.
- Chair and faculty at the Dopamine Transporter Imaging Workshop, sponsored by the Movement Disorder Society, Dec. '11, Houston, Texas
- Chair and faculty in the 5th and 6th Annual Johns Hopkins Dystonia and Spasticity Practicum, Houston, Texas, Dec. '11 and Dec. '12, respectively.
- Chair of session on the Principles of Clinical Trials and Regulatory Considerations Workshop on designing clinical trials for dystonia, sponsored by NIH, DMRF and Dystonia Coalition, Bethesda, Md., May '12 and a lecturer in the Dystonia Coalition's 4th Annual Meeting, Chicago, Ill., Sept. '12.
- Invited guest lecturer at the 1st Annual Mount Sinai Symposium "Advances in Movement Disorders", New York, N.Y., Mar '12.
- Invited guest lecturer at the 45th Annual Recent Advances in Neurology, University of California, San Francisco, Feb. '12.
- Invited speaker (along with Christine Hunter, R.N.) at the Association of Clinical Research Professions 2012 Global Conference, Houston, Texas.
- During the 2011-2012 academic year, Dr. Jankovic was a lecturer and/or visiting professor at Wake Forest University Medical School, Winston-Salem, N.C.; Beth Israel Medical Center, Einstein University, New York, N.Y.; University of Cincinnati; New York-Presbyterian Hospital-Weill-Cornell; University of Arizona; University of Catania, Catania, Italy; University of California, Irvine; University of California, San Diego, etc.
- Joohi Jimenez-Shahed, M.D. has been appointed as a member of Department of Neurology, Education Committee. Currently enrolled in the Master Teacher Fellowship Program, she has worked to develop the neurology resident training program in movement disorders. She has lectured to Parkinson's support groups, physicians at BCM's annual Current Neurology, and the Huntington Disease Society of America Annual Symposium, the University of California, Davis, Neuroscience Cardiology Update in New Orleans, La., and the Parkinson's Disease Foundation's Learning Institute. She has served as an ad hoc grant reviewer for the NIH.
- Christine B. Hunter, R.N., C.C.R.C. directs our research operations and coordinates a large number of clinical trials, including the Parkinson's Progression Markers Initiative, a biomarker study supported by the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research. She has helped train dozens of new members of the Parkinson's Disease Foundation's national advocacy network, Parkinson's Advocates in Research. Christine also facilitates the local Huntington Disease support group and continues to serve as liaison to a number of PD support groups. She is currently participating in the Mental Health America Task Force for integration of mental health issues in chronic diseases.
I hope that this partial list of our activities and accomplishments highlights the remarkable progress we are making in our search for better understanding and treatment of neurodegenerative and movement disorders. I want to express my deep appreciation for the untiring efforts of our physicians, nurses, researchers and support staff over the past year. Their commitment to excellence has enabled the PDCMDC to remain in the forefront of advances in patient care and research and to help us maintain our stellar reputation as one of the premier Parkinson's and movement disorder centers in the world.
Patients and friends often ask how they can help us achieve our goals. It is increasingly clear that philanthropic support in funding innovative research and training is critical to the future success of any academic institution, including BCM. One of our primary missions at the PDCMDC is to attract and train the most promising young physicians and scientists and to prepare them for their clinical and research careers. We need your support to continue funding the fellowship training program (annual cost about $500,000). Your investment in research and training at the PDCMDC will hasten the day when PD and other movement disorders will be effectively ameliorated or even cured. We depend upon your philanthropic partnership, which remains the foundation of our success, to achieve our important goals.
With warm appreciation,
Joseph Jankovic, M.D.