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The 2018 graduating class of The Edmond J. Safra Fellowship in Movement Disorder with benefactor Mrs. Lily Safra.

The Edmond J. Safra Fellowship in Movement Disorders

For people and families with Parkinson’s, seeing a movement disorder specialist — an expert who has additional training in diagnosing and treating Parkinson’s — is one of the keys to living life with the disease as well as possible. But there aren’t enough specialists to care for the 6 million people around the world who live with Parkinson’s.

A Global Network of Parkinson's Doctors

The Edmond J. Safra Fellowship in Movement Disorders, a partnership between the Edmond J. Safra Foundation and MJFF, is helping to meet this growing need.

By funding medical centers each year to train new movement disorder specialists, the program is building a global network of Parkinson’s experts to provide high-quality care, fuel research progress and train future generations.

Remembering Mrs. Lily Safra
The Michael J. Fox Foundation honors the extraordinary legacy of world-class philanthropist Mrs. Safra. Read our tribute on the impact of her generosity on Parkinson's disease research and care.

Watch a video on The Edmond J. Safra Fellowship in Movement Disorders.

Safra Fellowship Brochure Cover 2022

Improving Lives through Research and Care

Learn more about the program’s impact and the most recent fellowship graduates and their mentors.

“This growing global network of expertly trained movement disorder specialists will help ensure that people and families living with Parkinson’s receive comprehensive and compassionate care and that critical research moves forward to meet their most pressing needs.”
Mrs. Lily Safra Chairwoman of the Edmond J. Safra Foundation
The Edmond J. Safra Fellowship Alumni

To date, The Edmond J. Safra Fellowship in Movement Disorders has graduated 21 new movement disorder clinician-researchers across the world. Each specialist makes significant contributions by delivering high-quality care, advancing research and engaging their local communities. Learn more about the Fellowship graduates and where they are now.

  • Aditya Boddu, MD

    Aditya Boddu, MD

    Assistant Professor of Neurology
    University of Arkansas
    Little Rock, Arkansas

    Fellowship Site: UAB (University of Alabama at Birmingham); Birmingham, Alabama

    Aditya completed medical school at Gandhi Medical College in India and residency at the University of Missouri in Columbia. He chose to specialize in movement disorders because of its inherent reliance on good clinical skills to diagnose and manage complex diseases and the foundation it affords to foster long-term relationships with patients. Through his Edmond J. Safra fellowship in movement disorders, he discovered the challenges of correlating genotypes and phenotypes in movement disorders and the powerful role of therapies such as neurostimulation in Parkinson’s disease. When not phenomenologizing, Aditya can be found hiking trails with his dog or reading a good book.

  • Conor Fearon, BE, MB, BCh, BAO, MRCPI, PhD

    Conor Fearon, BE, MB, BCh, BAO, MRCPI, PhD

    Consulting Neurologist
    Dublin Neurological Institute (DNI)
    Dublin, Ireland

    Fellowship Site: Toronto Western Hospital; Ontario, Canada

    Conor cares for people with all types of movement disorders, including Parkinson’s, while simultaneously advancing research in these conditions. Given his background in engineering, Connor’s research interest is focused on the use of technology in the assessment and management of Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders. In particular, he is interested in how technology could be used to complement the clinical assessment of people living with movement disorders and monitor disease progression and response to treatment. 

  • Eoin Mulroy, MB BCh BAO

    Eoin Mulroy, MB BCh BAO

    UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
    London, England

    Fellowship Site: UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology; London, England

    Eoin is a neurologist and movement disorder specialist with a passion for clinical neurology, patient-focused clinical research, health economics and doctor-patient communication. Eoin is currently completing his PhD at University College London, exploring factors that influence variability in an individual’s response to deep brain stimulation treatment for dystonia. Following completion of his PhD, Eoin plans to take a position as an academic movement disorder clinician-researcher. 

  • Chintan Shah, MD

    Chintan Shah, MD

    Movement Disorder Specialist
    Kelsey-Seybold Clinic
    Houston, Texas

    Fellowship Site: Baylor College of Medicine; Houston, Texas

    Chintan studied neurobiology as an undergraduate at the University of Texas at Austin and obtained his MD from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in El Paso. He completed his neurology residency and Edmond J. Safra Fellowship in Movement Disorders at Baylor College of Medicine. Chintan cares for people with Parkinson’s disease, atypical parkinsonism and other movement disorders. His research interests lie in advanced therapies such as deep brain stimulation and discovering genetic causes of movement disorders. 

  • Jon Toledo Atucha, MD, PhD

    Jon Toledo Atucha, MD, PhD

    Scientific Director
    NANTZ National Alzheimer’s Center at Houston Methodist Hospital
    Houston, Texas

    Fellowship Site: Norman Fixel Institute for Neurological Diseases at University of Florida Health; Gainesville, Florida

    Jon completed his medical school and first neurology residency at the University of Navarra, Spain, where he also completed his PhD, evaluating neurophysiological deep brain stimulation recordings. He then moved to the University of Pennsylvania, as a post-doctoral researcher and research associate analyzing neuropathological, imaging and biofluid biomarkers in people with dementia and movement disorders. Jon then completed his second neurology residency at the Houston Methodist Hospital, followed by a movement disorders fellowship at the University of Florida as an Edmond J. Safra Fellow.

  • Pavan Vaswani, MD, PhD

    Pavan Vaswani, MD, PhD

    Assistant Professor
    University of Pennsylvania
    Parkinson’s Disease Research, Education and Clinical Center (PADRECC)
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    Fellowship Site: University of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    Pavan completed medical school at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, neurology residency through the Harvard Neurology Residency Program at Brigham and Women’s and Massachusetts General Hospitals in Boston, Massachusetts and Edmond J. Safra Fellowship in Movement Disorders at the University of Pennsylvania and Philadelphia VA Medical Center PADRECC. He continues to apply his research focus on deep brain stimulation, clinical research and teaching experience towards his career 

  • Whitley Aamodt, MD, MPH

    Whitley Aamodt, MD, MPH

    Assistant Professor of Neurology
    University of Pennsylvania
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    Fellowship Site: University of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    Whitley cares for patients with Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders. Her research explores health outcomes and end-of-life care for patients with Parkinson’s disease and atypical parkinsonism. She is particularly interested in developing initiatives to improve quality of life for patients at all stages of disease.

  • Amir Badiei, MD, MS

    Amir Badiei, MD, MS

    Cedars-Sinai Medical Group,
    Los Angeles, California

    Fellowship Site: University of California, San Francisco (UCSF); San Francisco, California 

    Amir studied Cognitive Science as an undergraduate at the University of California, Berkeley, and obtained a master's degree in Biomedical Sciences at Tufts University. He completed his medical degree at Saint Louis University, and his residency training in the Harvard Neurology Program at Beth Israel Deaconess. Within Movement Disorders, Dr. Badiei's interest lies in the atypical parkinsonian syndromes, the neurocognitive effects of deep brain stimulation in parkinsonism, and brain mapping.

  • Christopher Caughman, MD

    Christopher Caughman, MD

    Assistant Professor, Neurology
    Emory University
    Atlanta, Georgia

    Fellowship Site: Emory University; Atlanta, Georgia 

    Chris is a movement disorder neurologist at Emory University. After completing his residency in neurology at Emory University, Chris continued his training as an Edmond J. Safra fellow at Emory University. Following the completion of his fellowship, Chris will be staying on faculty as an Assistant Professor of Neurology with a focus in the clinical management of Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor, dystonia, and other movement disorders. 

  • Judith van Gaalen, MD

    Judith van Gaalen, MD

    Chief of Clinic, Neurology
    Rijnstate Hospital
    Arnhem, the Netherlands

    Fellowship Site: Radboud University Medical Centre; Nijmegen, the Netherlands 

    Judith diagnoses and treats patients with various types of movement disorders. Next to Parkinson’s disease, she has specific expertise in rarer movement disorders, such as cerebellar ataxia. She combines care for these patients with research in this field. She is involved in the care for patients with Parkinson’s disease, including those receiving deep brain stimulation (DBS). Judith strives to optimize care for young patients with movement disorders and will continue working on this after completion of her fellowship.

  • Neil Shetty, MD

    Neil Shetty, MD

    Clinical Instructor
    Northwestern University
    Chicago, Illinois

    Fellowship Site: Northwestern University; Chicago, Illinois 

    Neil received his B.S. in neuroscience from University of Illinois at Chicago and his M.D. from University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria. He completed his medical internship, neurology residency, and his two-year Edmond J. Safra Fellowship in Movement Disorders at McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University. During his fellowship, Dr. Shetty received specialized training in deep brain stimulation and other advanced therapeutics for Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders. He will stay on as faculty at Northwestern in Chicago as a movement disorders specialist with a focus in DBS and advanced therapeutics.

  • Juliana Coleman, MD

    Juliana Coleman, MD

    Instructor, Department of Neurology
    UAB (University of Alabama at Birmingham)
    Birmingham, Alabama

    Fellowship Site: UAB (University of Alabama at Birmingham); Birmingham, Alabama

    Juliana diagnoses and treats patients with movement disorders, including Parkinson’s disease. She focuses on deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery and programming. She plans to pursue a career as a clinician-educator. She currently designs curricula and teaches medical students to perform the neurologic exam more effectively.

  • Grace Crotty, MD, MB BCh BAO, MRCPI

    Grace Crotty, MD, MB BCh BAO, MRCPI

    Instructor of Neurology
    Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School
    Boston, Massachusetts

    Fellowship Site: Massachusetts General Hospital; Boston, Massachusetts

    Grace cares for people with Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders. Her research explores the interaction between genes and the environment. A better understanding of this relationship could identify disease-modifying therapies for individuals with Parkinson’s disease and lead to the development of preventative trials in at-risk genetic carriers.

  • Eric Jackowiak, MD

    Eric Jackowiak, MD

    Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology
    Medical College of Wisconsin and Milwaukee VA Medical Center
    Milwaukee, Wisconsin

    Fellowship Site: University of Michigan; Ann Arbor, Michigan

    Eric provides comprehensive clinical care to people living with Parkinson disease and other movement disorders. In doing so, he enjoys building connections with patients and their loved ones. He also has a special interest in educating the next generation of neurologists. His research during The Edmond J. Safra Fellowship examined the caregiver experience of deep brain stimulation for Parkinson’s disease.

  • Greg Khulman, MD, MBA

    Greg Kuhlman, MD, MBA

    Assistant Professor
    University of Cincinnati Department of Neurology & Rehabilitation Medicine
    Cincinnati, Ohio

    Fellowship Site: Toronto Western Hospital; Ontario, Canada

    Greg’s clinical work is focused on movement disorders with an interest in Parkinson’s disease. His research involves developing more effective web-based educational tools for people with Parkinson’s disease and care partners. 

  • Kimberly Kwei, MD, PhD

    Kimberly Kwei, MD, PhD

    Assistant Professor, Movement Disorders Division
    Columbia University
    New York, New York

    Fellowship Site: Columbia University Medical Center; New York, New York

    Kimberly evaluates and treats patients with a multitude of movement disorders but has a special interest in the various gait disorders that affect patients with Parkinson's disease. Her research centers on examining the underlying neuronal pathways that cause gait dysfunction via neuromodulation systems.

  • Anne Weissbach, MD

    Anne Weissbach, MD

    Clinician Scientist
    Institute of Neurogenetics and the Institute of Systems Motor Science, University of Lübeck
    Lübeck, Germany

    Fellowship Site: University of Lübeck; Lübeck, Germany

    Anne has a strong research interest in the neurophysiology of patients with monogenic dystonia and Parkinson’s such as Parkin and PINK1-associated Parkinson’s. She uses transcranial magnetic stimulation to investigate motor network alterations and analyzes how they can be modified by therapeutic approaches such as dopaminergic treatment and deep brain stimulation. 

  • Katie Amodeo, MD

    Katherine Amodeo, MD

    Movement Disorders Specialist
    Department of Neurology
    Westchester Medical Center- MidHudson Regional Hospital
    Poughkeepsie, New York

    Assistant Professor of Neurology
    School of Medicine at New York Medical College
    Valhalla, New York

    Adjunct Assistant Professor of Neurology
    University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry
    Rochester, New York

    Adjunct Instructor
    School of Science at Marist College
    Poughkeepsie, New York

    Fellowship Site: University of Rochester; Rochester, New York

    Katherine evaluates and treats patients with neurological disorders, with a focus in movement and cognitive disorders. Her research focuses on identifying modifiable risk factors for cognitive impairment with the goal of mitigating risk for dementia in those with Parkinson’s disease and prodromal dementia with Lewy bodies. 

  • Sarah Horn, MD

    Sarah Horn, MD

    Assistant Professor of Neurology
    University of Texas Health Science Center 
    San Antonio, Texas

    Fellowship Site: University of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    Sarah cares for patients with Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders. Her comparative effectiveness outcomes research focuses on determining which interventions work best for patients to improve the quality of care.

  • Katherine Leaver, MD

    Katherine Leaver, MD

    Assistant Professor of Neurology
    Division of Movement Disorders
    Mount Sinai Beth Israel
    New York, New York

    Fellowship Site: Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai; New York City, New York

    Katherine diagnoses and manages patients with complex movement disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease and parkinsonism. She also runs several clinical trials. Her main research interests include examining LRRK2 mutation Parkinson’s disease and deep brain stimulation outcomes.

  • Jessica Weinstein, MD

    Jessica Weinstein, MD

    Kaiser Permanente Antioch Medical Center
    Antioch, California

    San Francisco VA Medical Center
    San Francisco, California

    Fellowship Site: University of California, San Francisco; San Francisco, California

    Jessica’s medical practice focuses on care for underserved and relatively rural populations in California. She is the only trained movement disorder in the area and actively involved in the sole Parkinson’s disease support group in the region. Jessica is interested in the management of motor, non-motor and palliative care needs of people living with movement disorders.

  • Natalie Witek, MD

    Natalie Witek, MD, MS

    Assistant Professor
    Division of Movement Disorders/Neurology
    Rush University
    Chicago, Illinois

    Fellowship Site: Rush University; Chicago, Illinois

    Natalie divides her time between treating patients with Parkinson’s disease and other immune-mediated movement disorders and researching biomarkers (objective measures to diagnose and track disease). She is particularly focused on studying immune markers in patients with Parkinson’s to help target individuals who might respond better to certain types of treatments.

  • David Breen

    David P. Breen, MRCP (Neurol), PhD

    Honorary Consultant Neurologist and Senior Clinical Research Fellow
    University of Edinburgh
    Edinburgh, Scotland

    Fellowship Site: Toronto Western Hospital; Ontario, Canada

    David treats movement disorder patients while leading research into their conditions. He developed a new program at the Anne Rowling Regenerative Neurology Clinic to care for people and connect them to research studies. His research looks to understand genetic and environmental risk factors for Parkinson's as well as the influence of sleep on brain health and how it impacts risk of developing diseases such as Parkinson's.

  • Marissa Dean, MD

    Marissa Dean, MD

    Assistant Professor of Neurology
    UAB (University of Alabama at Birmingham)
    Birmingham, Alabama

    Fellowship Site: UAB (University of Alabama at Birmingham); Birmingham, Alabama

    Marissa evaluates and treats people with all types of movement disorders, including Parkinson's, Huntington's, ataxia and others. She also runs several clinical trials. Her main research interests are the genetics of movement disorders, underrepresented populations in Parkinson's studies, including African-Americans, and the education of patients, families and medical students about Parkinson’s.

  • Lenora Higginbotham, MD

    Lenora Higginbotham, MD

    Assistant Professor of Neurology
    Emory University
    Atlanta, Georgia

    Fellowship Site: Emory University; Atlanta, Georgia

    Lenora divides her time between treating people with movement disorders in the clinic and researching biomarkers (objective measures to diagnose and track disease) in the lab. She is particularly focused on biomarkers for Parkinson’s and atypical parkinsonisms, conditions that can mimic Parkinson’s disease and, like Parkinson’s, do not yet have diagnostic tests.

  • Christine Kim, MD

    Christine Kim, MD

    Assistant Professor of Neurology, Division of Movement Disorders
    Columbia University
    New York, New York

    Fellowship Site: Columbia University; New York, New York

    Christine evaluates and treats patients with movement disorders and, at the same time, directs research into these conditions. Her work centers on focal dystonia, a condition that causes involuntary muscle contractions and postures in one body part. She’s especially interested in understanding and treating musicians’ dystonia because of her background as a violinist. Christine serves on the AAN Clinical Research Subcommittee.

  • Gerrit Machetanz, MD

    Gerrit Machetanz, MD

    Technical University of Munich
    Munich, Germany

    Fellowship Site: University of Tübingen; Tübingen, Germany

    Gerrit evaluates and treats patients with Parkinson’s and Atypical Parkinsonian Disorders. He also serves as an investigator on Parkinson's and other movement disorder trials and is working on separating the different underlying mechanisms of Parkinson's to advance personalized treatment approaches.

The Edmond J. Safra Fellows in Training

At the current time, 11 physicians are in training with world-renowned movement disorder specialists at esteemed institutions across the world to hone their diagnostic, treatment and research skills so that upon graduation they are experts in both patient care and research.

  • Sergio Andrés Castillo-Torres, MD

    Fleni Hospital - Buenos Aires, Argentina

    Sergio Castillo-Torres is a clinical neurologist, currently working as an assistant professor of neurology at the Hospital Universitario (Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León), a teaching hospital in Monterrey, Mexico. He decided to become a neurologist because of the intellectual challenges of the neurological examination and lesion localization. Early in his training, he became thrilled by the protean clinical manifestations of movement disorders and decided to pursue specialization in this field to provide the best care for patients given the scarcity of specialists.

  • Stephen Joza, MD, PhD

    The Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre – Montreal, Canada

    Steve Joza completed a doctorate in pathobiology at the University of Toronto, medical degree at Queen’s University at Kingston, and neurology residency at the University of Alberta. He is excited to start his fellowship training in movement disorders with a focus on researching the early prodromal stages of Parkinson’s disease.

  • Poornima Jayadev Menon, MB BCh BAO LRCPI and SI, MRCPI, DTMH

    Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital - Paris, France

    Poornima Jayadev Menon is currently completing her third year of neurology training in Ireland and undertaking a Masters in Genomic Medicine at Cambridge University. Through the Edmond J. Safra Fellowship, she hopes to gain a deeper understanding into the pathophysiology of Parkinson’s disease, the genetic variants responsible for this condition and the evolution of this disease. She aspires to contribute to the cumulative effort of developing a therapy that can prevent progression for patients with Parkinson’s disease. She is excited to spend the next two years learning clinical skills from the phenomenal physicians at the ICM as she pursues her ambition of becoming a movement disorders physician.

  • Andrea Sujung Yoo, MD

    Mount Sinai Beth Israel Medical Center - New York, New York

    Andrea Yoo was born in South Korea; raised in Queens, New York; and completed her undergraduate studies at Cornell University.  At NYU Grossman School of Medicine, she fostered her interest in movement disorders studying art therapy intervention and visual spatial processing in Parkinson’s disease. She is Chief Resident in Neurology at New York Presbyterian-Weill Cornell and is researching chemodenervation for cervical dystonia and migraines. As an Edmond J. Safra Fellow at Mount Sinai Beth Israel, she hopes to expand her clinical knowledge to multiple areas in movement disorders and pursue clinical research in Parkinson’s disease, including disease-modifying agents and novel targets for non-motor symptoms.

  • Jun Yu, MD, MS

    The Norman Fixel Institute for Neurological Diseases at University of Florida Health - Gainesville, Florida

    Jun “John” Yu is currently a neurology resident and aspiring movement disorders fellow at the University of Florida Norman Fixel Institute for Neurological Diseases. His clinical and research interest in neuromodulation therapies for Parkinson’s disease stemmed from his longstanding fascination with brain networks and advanced technologies. As a determined clinician-scientist, Dr. Yu aims to hone his skills for a successful academic career providing comprehensive, interdisciplinary, patient-centered care for individuals with PD and advancing understanding of basal ganglia circuits and physiology through the continued innovation and optimization of neuromodulation therapies.

  • Laura Armengou García, MD, PhD

    Toronto Western Hospital – Ontario, Canada

    Laura is a Spanish physician, currently in the fourth year of neurology residency training at the Clinica Universidad de Navarra in Spain. During her two-year fellowship at Toronto Western Hospital, she intends to further her knowledge on the pathogenesis of all neurological diseases with movement disorders, especially Parkinson's disease. Her goal as a physician is to provide the best possible care to patients with these disorders. To achieve this, she says she must expand her clinical and research expertise and develop first rate teamwork skills.

  • Milan Beckers, MD, PhD

    Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre – Nijmegen, the Netherlands

    After obtaining his medical degree from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands and completing a master's thesis on deep brain stimulation for tremor, Milan completed his neurology residency at Zuyderland Medical Centre. He then completed a six-month elective at the Center of Expertise for Parkinson & Movement Disorders in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. During his residency he engaged in various research projects and now prepares for a PhD project on Parkinson’s disease, which he will conduct during his fellowship. Through fellowship, he aspires to advance his competence in multidisciplinary care for patients with movement disorders, with special attention to improving access to care for underserved communities.

  • Stephen Berger, MD, PhD

    Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine – Baltimore, Maryland

    Stephen's interest in neurodegeneration dates to a high school internship at NIH, where he worked primarily on the genetics of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Frontotemporal Dementia. He is completing an MD-PhD program at NYU, where his research focuses on cellular neuroscience. During fellowship, he plans to focus on the cellular and genetic mechanisms of disease progression in Lewy body dementia and related forms of atypical parkinsonism. His long-term goal is to assist patients with these diseases, while gleaning broadly applicable insights into classical Parkinson's disease.

  • José Ricardo López Castellanos, MD

    Emory University – Atlanta, Georgia

    Ricardo López Castellanos was born and raised in El Salvador, where he obtained his MD degree and became interested in movement disorders. While participating in PD support groups, he developed a passion for patient empowerment through education. He then completed a movement disorder research fellowship at the University of Cincinnati, where he studied autonomic dysfunction in PD and the use of technology and objective measures to improve patients’ quality of life. Currently, he is completing neurology residency at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, where he serves as a chief resident.

  • Francesca Magrinelli, MD, PhD

    University College London – London, England

    Francesca completed medical school and neurology residency at the University of Verona in Italy. Her PhD focused on clinicogenetic correlations in dystonia. She is passionate about deep phenotyping and genotype-phenotype interactions in movement disorders. For several years, she worked as a movement disorder clinical and research fellow at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery and Neurogenetics laboratory at UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology in London. She is involved in clinical transitional research and has published more than 50 peer-reviewed articles. Through fellowship, she aims to master the diagnosis and treatment of movement disorders and strengthen bridging competencies in the neurogenetics of this field.

  • Leila Saadatpour, MD

    Cleveland Clinic – Cleveland, Ohio

    Leila received her medical degree from the Isfahan University of Medical Sciences in Iran. She completed two years of research training at the University of Florida. She now is completing neurology residency at the University of Texas in San Antonio. During her two-year fellowship, she aims to continue training in micro-electrode recording (MER) and researching deep brain stimulation (DBS). She says The Edmond J. Safra Fellowship in Movement Disorders affords her the opportunity to achieve her goal of expanding clinical, procedural and research skills as a clinical-investigator in movement disorders and neurodegenerative diseases.

  • Christina Behrend Swan, MD, PhD

    Rush University Medical Center – Chicago, Illinois

    Christina is a neurology resident at the University of Pennsylvania with a particular interest in neural circuit dysfunction in Parkinson’s disease and neural stimulation technologies. She completed an MD-PhD program at Duke University with a research focus on beta frequency oscillations and bradykinesia. She aspires to pursue a clinically based career in movement disorders within an academic hospital system to combine her passion for clinical neurology with opportunities for clinical research and teaching. In fellowship, she hopes to gain expertise in both the clinical practice of movement disorders and surgical mapping for deep brain stimulation.

  • Rebecca Williamson, MD, PhD

    University of Pennsylvania – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    Rebecca has a longstanding interest in neurodegenerative conditions and combining scientific discovery with clinical practice. She completed a doctorate in neuroscience and medical degree at Columbia University. Rebecca currently serves as Chief Resident at the Harvard Neurology Residency Program at Brigham and Women’s, and Massachusetts General Hospitals. In her movement disorders fellowship, Rebecca looks forward to forging trusted, compassionate relationships with her patients and families as they navigate chronic disease. At the University of Pennsylvania, Rebecca looks forward to engaging in translational research in genetics underlying Parkinson’s and related disorders, with a goal of bringing personalized medicine into the movement disorders clinic.

  • William Barbosa, MD

    University of Rochester - Rochester, New York

    William Barbosa, MD, is an adult neurology chief resident at the University of Rochester. He graduated from NYU School of Medicine and completed his undergraduate studies at Brown University.  Born in Puerto Rico and a prior recipient of the AAN medical student diversity leadership award, Barbosa is passionate about addressing healthcare inequities and expanding access to care for people in underserved areas. He has been involved in various research projects, examining innovative models of healthcare delivery. During his fellowship, Barbosa hopes to expand upon his research interests while exploring Parkinson’s biomarker initiatives to monitor disease progression and for more accurate diagnosis.  

  • Kacey Hu, MD

    University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine - Los Angeles, California

    Originally from Los Angeles, Kacey Hu, MD, completed her undergraduate and medical school education at Northwestern University in Chicago, but returned to sunny LA for a neurology residency at LAC+USC and Keck Medical Center. She was drawn to the field of Movement Disorders in part due to the long lasting relationships built with the patient population as well as the satisfaction of being able to diagnose disorders based on a well-founded history and physical exam. Hu’s research interest primarily centers around deep brain stimulation, and she looks forward to continuing her work with her mentors at USC when she stays on for a movement disorders fellowship after residency. Outside of work, Kacey enjoys traveling the world, skiing and sampling as many of the wonderful restaurants in LA as she can. 

  • Taha Omer, MBBS, Dip.Ther, DCSM, MRCPI, MRCP (London), PhD

    University of Calgary - University of Calgary

    Taha Omer, MBBS, Dip.Ther, DCSM, MRCPI, MRCP, PhD, completed medical training in Sudan at the University of Khartoum. He subsequently pursued training in neurology in Ireland with an emphasis on movement disorders in his last year, at UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology. During training, Omer also became a research fellow in Neurology at Trinity College, earning a PhD studying biomarker profiling in frontotemporal dementia. During this time, he gained appreciation for and exposure to movement disorders. Omer is fascinated by movement disorders given the complexity of clinical presentations as well as emerging therapeutics. During the fellowship, he aims to expand clinical acumen and participate in clinical trials. 

  • Juan Ramon Deliz, MD

    Northwestern University – Chicago, Illinois

    Juan Ramon Deliz, MD, was raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico and obtained a Bachelors in Neuroscience from Columbia University. He went on to obtain his medical degree at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, where he served as president of the Latino Medical Student Association and was inducted into the Gold Humanism Honor Society. He is completing neurology residency at the McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University, where he will also start the movement disorders fellowship. During fellowship, Juan hopes to continue his work in community outreach and advocacy, focusing on early identification and presentation to subspecialists of common movement disorders. 

  • Emily Tharp, MD

    University of Texas Health Science Center - Houston, Texas

    Emily Tharp, MD is a fourth-year resident in excellent standing with the Neurology Residency Program at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, McGovern Medical School.  Tharp got her first exposure to neurology as an undergraduate, working at Rush University’s Alzheimer’s Disease Center. The experience drove her to complete her medical degree at Rush University, where she was awarded support through the Dean’s Office Fellowship Grant. It also fostered her interest and research in movement disorders, where she originally investigated functional movement disorders and certain biomarkers. Tharp is currently completing her residency in neurology at UTHealth Houston where she will be staying to complete a movement disorder fellowship. She hopes to contribute to the advancement of our understanding of movement disorders with specific interests in life-style interventions, therapeutics and neuromodulation in Parkinson’s disease.  

  • Mehmet Salih Tuncer

    Charité – Universitätsmedizin - Berlin, Germany

    Mehmet Salih Tuncer, is a sixth-year medical student at Charite -  Universitätsmedizin at Berlin. During medical school, he pursued his doctoral degree about the prediction of language deficits in brain tumor patients using brain stimulation and analysis of structural brain networks. Tuncer co-authored seven scientific publications, which were published in peer-reviewed journals. In addition, he worked for years in the anatomy department as a student tutor in cadaveric dissection courses. As a future medical doctor, Tuncer aims to pursue a career in neurology and combine clinical scientific practice to provide the best possible care for patients with complex neurological diseases. In his free time, Tuncer enjoys spending time with his family and playing the piano.  

  • Duncan Wilson PhD, MRCP, MB ChB

    Westmead Hospital and University of Sydney - Sydney, Australia

    Duncan Wilson, PhD, MRCP, MB, ChB, completed his undergraduate medical degree and foundation years in New Zealand.Wilson moved to the United Kingdom in 2009, where he undertook a PhD in clinical neurology focused on cerebral small vessel disease. He is well-published, with over 80 publications in peer-reviewed journals and an H index of 26. Returning to New Zealand in 2018, he has undertaken training in adult neurology, intending to subspecialize in movement disorders. Following a fellowship in movement disorders, Duncan plans to practice as a clinician scientist in New Zealand, take an academic role with Otago University as Senior Lecturer and a clinical role with Te Whatu Ora – Health New Zealand, focusing on Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders.  

  • Isabel Wurster, MD

    University of Tübingen - Tübingen, Germany

    Isabel Wurster, MD, is a resident in the Department of Neurodegenerative Diseases at the Centre of Neurology, University of Tübingen led by Professor Thomas Gasser. In addition to training on general inpatient wards and the stroke unit, Wurster has successfully completed clinical rotations in the outpatient clinics for Parkinsonian syndromes, Dystonia and Botulinumtoxin injection, as well as in the outpatient clinics for ataxia and hereditary spastic paraplegia during the residency program. She is the lead resident for the outpatient clinic for Tremor Syndromes.Following residency, Wurster started to work in the research group “Clinical Parkinson Research” of Dr. Kathrin Brockmann at the Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research. She is deeply involved in longitudinal cohort studies focusing on stratification of people with Parkinson’s disease according to genetic and pathway-specific biomarker profiles which are the basis for disease-modifying interventional trials. Through the fellowship, Wurster hopes to expand her work in Parkinson’s-specific observational and clinical trials. Moreover, she will host Parkinson’s-specific information events for local neurologists and patient groups and train Parkinson’s nurses for our outpatient-clinic and ward with special focus on requirements related to Parkinson’s care.   

The Edmond J. Safra Movement Disorders Research Career Development Awards

Launched in 2022, this competitive research funding program aims to support fellowship graduates’ contributions to Parkinson’s research and paths to becoming independent scientific investigators at the forefront of the field.

An independent review committee evaluates applicants based on their strengths as a scientist, the clarity of their path forward, and the potential impact of their proposed research project. Each awardee receives a $50,000 grant to complete a two-year research project on Parkinson’s and related disorders.

Conor Fearon, BE, MB, PhD; Class of 2022

Consulting neurologist; Dublin Neurological Institute; Dublin, Ireland

Combining his expertise in electrical engineering and movement disorders, Conor aims to develop non-invasive objective measures (biomarkers) to diagnose and track Parkinson’s and related diseases by analyzing eye movements and pupillary changes. Conor anticipates his findings will improve both care and clinical trials of Parkinson’s.

Anne Weissbach, MD; Class of 2020

Clinician scientist; Institute of Neurogenetics Lübeck and Institute of Systems Motor Science; Lübeck, Germany

Using non-invasive brain stimulation, Anne will evaluate unique brain signals in people with inherited Parkinson-dystonia syndromes. These diseases have symptoms of both PD and dystonia, a muscle cramping that can be part of PD or a condition on its own. Anne hopes this work will lead to better understanding of and treatments for both Parkinson’s and dystonia.

More Resources

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    See a PD Specialist

    The MDS Movement Disorders Specialist Finder can help you locate a doctor in your area.

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    Contact an Edmond J. Safra Fellow

    Edmond J. Safra Fellowship alumni provide expert care to people and families with Parkinson’s around the world. Find a fellowship graduate in your area.

  • icon 2

    Apply to the Program

    Medical centers around the world that are interested in training a new movement disorder clinician-researcher may be eligible for funding.

“We’re grateful to be working together to increase the number of highly specialized neurologists who can help patients live better with Parkinson’s disease and speed progress toward a cure.”
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