R. Jeremy Nichols, PhD, is currently director of the Signal Transduction and LRRK2 Biology program at The Parkinson's Institute. He obtained a BS degree with honors from Austin Peay State University. He then obtained a PhD in the laboratory of Paula Traktman at the Medical College of Wisconsin. While there, he studied proteins collectively called a VRK family of protein kinases and identified proteins involved in the infectious cycle of the vaccinia virus, a component of the small pox vaccine. He pursued his interest in cellular signaling to the Medical Research Council Protein Phosphorylation Unit in Dundee, Scotland, to study, in collaboration with Dario Alessi, PhD, the role of protein LRRK2 in cells and how disease-associated genetic changes cause Parkinson's disease (PD). He studies the signals sent to and from PD-related proteins to understand how they are regulated in health and disease. He also aims to translate basic science discoveries to clinical resources at the Parkinson's Institute Movement Disorders Clinic.