Dr. Chintan Shah, medical resident at Baylor College of Medicine, has been selected to join The Michael J. Fox Foundation’s Edmond J. Safra Fellowship in Movement Disorders class of 2022. Only five neurology physicians were chosen this year from across the globe to be matched to top-tiered academic centers.

The program awards funding annually to five academic centers worldwide to train a new movement disorder specialist over two years. Shah was selected to join Baylor’s Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Clinic. Under the guidance of Dr. Joseph Jankovic, professor and director of the clinic, Shah will continue his work focused on critically evaluating and treating those living with movement disorders as well as working on clinical studies that impact patients.

The goal of The Edmond J. Safra Fellowship is to train physicians to become movement disorder clinician-researchers — experts who provide high-quality care to people with Parkinson’s and other movement disorders and who serve as leaders on critical research.

Shah, who joined Baylor in 2016, currently is involved in a survey of treatment patterns in essential-tremor patients, taking into account the challenges of treating a progressive movement disorder, particularly when essential tremor co-exists with Parkinson’s disease. The goal is to better identify treatment options for each individual and symptom.  

“As an Edmond J. Safra Fellow, I am looking forward to my growth as a neurologist with a focus on building long-lasting relationships with my patients living with Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders,” Shah said. “The fellowship will help to bridge the gap between groundbreaking basic and clinical research and its clinical applications to my patients. From the knowledge and skills I acquire, I hope to provide excellent treatment to my patients and facilitate their participation in clinical trials for disease modifying therapies.”

Launched in 2014, The Edmond J. Safra Fellowship in Movement Disorders, a collaboration between The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF) and longtime partner The Edmond J. Safra Foundation, bridges a funding gap to build a global network of much-needed movement disorder specialists.

With the enrollment of this fifth class and the recent graduation of its second, The Edmond J. Safra Fellowship in Movement Disorders is on track to graduate 26 new movement disorder specialists by 2022. Fellows come from varied institutions and backgrounds, but all demonstrate impressive clinical skills and broad experience in research, teaching and service to the community, both locally and internationally.

Jankovic, who will serve as Shah’s mentor, noted that The Edmond J. Safra Fellowship in Movement Disorders is an important recognition of the training and educational program developed at the Baylor’s Parkinson’s Disease Center and Movement Disorders Clinic over the past 40 years.

“We are honored to be the recipients of this prestigious award, which will help support Dr. Shah’s fellowship and launch his academic career,” Jankovic said.

Jankovic also is the Distinguished Chair in Movement Disorders and program director for the Movement Disorders Fellowship program at Baylor.