Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders Center

Director's Message

Welcome to the Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Center (PD&MDC) website.  Our center is recognized by the National Parkinson Foundation as one of its worldwide Centers of Excellence. Our program brings together Northwestern Medicine's advanced clinical resources and premier research in movement disorders to its Chicago campus. Northwestern is one of only 12 centers in the country to receive the prestigious National Institutes of Health  Morris K. Udall Center grant for Parkinson's research. The mission of our center is to achieve the tripod of excellence in patient care, education, and research.

Conducting Collaborative Research

The PD&MDC is a thriving clinical research program that benefits from rich interdepartmental collaborations between clinicians and basic scientists. The focus of our research is development of translational projects that take basic science discoveries from the lab to the clinical trials and ultimately to benefit patients with a variety of different movement disorders. The most recent example of success of such collaboration is a 16 million grant from NINDS to conduct a Phase III study of isradipine as a potential disease-modifying agent in Parkinson’s disease, which is based on the preclinical data from our Udall Center headed by D James Surmeier, PhD.

The scope of our research projects cover a broad range, including studies that seek to develop and validate:

 We also collaborate with newly formed Center for Rare Neurological Diseases. Led by Dimitri Krainc, MD, PhD, the center studies the molecular basis of rare lysosomal diseases to better understand neurodegeneration, identify molecular targets, and ultimately develop new therapies for both rare and common neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease.

Educating Future Leaders

We are committed to training of the next generation of skilled physician scientists in the field of movement disorders and consider that as an essential part of our mission to advance the field and care. Our fellows have gone on to academic clinical research positions in different parts of the country.  In addition we offer regular educational programs for physicians, allied health care professionals as well as mini fellowships for the clinical pharmacists and nurse educators in advanced management of movement disorders.

Providing Information and Care

The center's prides itself in extensive community education and outreach programs that include patient and caregiver support groups, seminars and annual symposiums. The Feinberg-affiliated clinic seeks to meet the many needs of the 2,500 patients and families who work with the clinic every year, including medical and surgical care, physical therapy and exercise programs, occupational therapy, education and support groups, counseling, caregiver support, access to community services, voice and swallowing therapies, nutritional recommendations, and complementary practices such as yoga, massage, and acupuncture.

Through our research and educational efforts here at Feinberg, and our affiliated Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders clinic, we continually strive to fulfill our mission.

We welcome inquiries and potential collaborations. Please contact us for more information.

Center Director Tanya Simuni, MD

Tanya Simuni, MD
Director, Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders Center
Arthur C. Nielsen Professor of Neurology