Dr. Richard Smeyne has been studying Parkinson’s disease (PD) for more than 30 years. His laboratory focuses on three main topics. The first is exploring the role of viruses in the etiology of PD. The second is examining the role of exercise in slowing PD progression, for which his group was among the first to recognize the beneficial effects of high-impact aerobic exercise. Finally, his lab studies the interactions of the peripheral immune system with the CNS and how genetic defects can alter this crosstalk. This latter work has led to development of a hypothesis that some forms of PD may be a primary immune disorder. Currently, Dr. Smeyne serves as professor and chair of the department of neuroscience at Thomas Jefferson University and director of the institution’s Comprehensive Parkinson’s Disease Center.