Dr. Falk has a strong interest in both gene and cell therapy approaches to Parkinson’s disease (PD). He has a background in genetics, having earned a Masters degree at the University of Kaiserslautern in Germany. He went on to the University of Hamburg in Germany to conduct research in both a molecular biology and an electrophysiology laboratory as a graduate student, while successfully cloning and characterizing a potassium channel. As a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Arizona, he constructed and characterized viral vector constructs utilized to modulate ion channel expression in skeletal muscle cells and hippocampal neurons in culture. After becoming a Research Assistant Professor, he expanded his research to include work on neuronal growth factors. As PI on several previous university, state - and National Foundation-funded grants, he established effective culture and in vivo animal models of PD in the laboratory, and identified VEGF-B as a candidate neurotrophic factor.