David Standaert graduated from Harvard College in 1982. He received his MD and PhD degrees from Washington University in St. Louis and completed a one-year internship in Medicine at Jewish Hospital of St. Louis followed by a three-year Neurology residency at the University of Pennsylvania. He was appointed a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Physician Research Fellow, and completed a three-year research and clinical fellowship in Neurology (Movement Disorders) at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital in 1995. He subsequently joined the faculty at MGH where he served as Director of the MGH/MIT Udall Center of Excellence in PD Research as well as a Chair of the MGH Institutional Review Board (IRB).
Dr. Standaert joined the University of Alabama at Birmingham faculty in July 2006. He serves as Director of the Division of Movement Disorders, Director of the APDA Advanced Center for Parkinson Research at UAB, and Director of the Center for Neurodegeneration and Experimental Therapeutics. He sees patients in a weekly clinic and oversees many clinical trials for new treatments of Parkinson's disease.
Dr. Standaert’s laboratory works on understanding both the root causes of Parkinson’s disease as well as the origin of the disabling symptoms that appear after long term treatment of the disease. Recently, his group has focused on approaches to reducing the toxicity of synuclein in animal models of Parkinson disease. Dr. Standaert’s laboratory is also interested in the cause of “wearing off” and dyskinesias in patients treated with levodopa, and has uncovered evidence that may lead to new treatments for these disabling problems.