All attendees must be “fully vaccinated” (as defined by the CDC at the time of the meeting) and must verify full COVID-19 vaccination status to attend
the 34th Annual Symposium & 32nd Annual Meeting in Phoenix. Proof of vaccination will be required as part of the registration for the meeting.

The PSG 32nd Annual Meeting

& 34th Annual Symposium

June 2-5, 2022

The Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass, Phoenix, AZ

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Featured Programs

The PSG 24th Annual Symposium: Parkinson’s Disease & the Environment

On behalf of the PSG, we welcome you to the 34th annual symposium in Phoenix, AZ. The theme of the meeting is the interplay between the environment and Parkinson’s disease, with keynote lectures on gene-environment interactions, the gut microbiome, infectious factors in disease etiology, and environmental interventions in management.  The program will also feature poster and platform presentations on current research in Parkinson’s disease.  A limited number of travel awards are available for junior investigators.  Abstract submission and meeting registration for presenting authors are free of charge.  Please see the PSG meeting webpage for details.

Symposium Keynote Speakers

Beate Ritz, MD, Ph.D.

UCLA Fielding School of Public Health

Dr. Ritz is a Professor of Epidemiology at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health with co-appointments in Environmental Health Sciences and Neurology at the UCLA, SOM; and a member of the Center for Occupational and Environmental Health. For a decade, she co-directed the NIEHS-funded Center for Gene-Environment (GxE) in Parkinson’s disease (PD) at UCLA targeting occupational and environmental toxins such as pesticides in relation to Parkinson’s disease. She collaborates with neuroscientists, human geneticists, and clinicians at UCLA. She has been the PI of two large population-based case control studies of PD in Denmark (PASIDA study with 3600 participants) and in California’s central valley the long-running Parkinson, Environment and Genes (PEG) study that started collecting data from 1,870 PD patients and controls in the year 2000.  For PEG, Dr. Ritz’ team has also collected and stored bio-samples (blood, serum, plasma, saliva, urine, fecal matter) and recorded longitudinal motor and non-motor progression in the PD patients over a decade of follow-up. Her lab has collected genetic, genomics, epigenetic, metabolomics, questionnaire and clinical phenotyping and progression data for PEG study participants enrolled between 2001 and 2018 with progressive updates of patients’ status; most recently her team started collecting fecal samples form study participants. She served on multiple IOM committees evaluating ‘Gulf War Illnesses’, ‘Health Effects of Veterans from Herbicide Exposures in Vietnam’, and ‘Incorporating 21st Century Science into Risk-Based Evaluations’, the U.S. EPA CASAC panel (Carbon Monoxide NAAQS); and currently is a member of the Scientific Review Panel on Toxic Air Contaminants for the state of California.  In 2008, she received a research Award from the American Parkinson’s Disease Association and she made the Clarivate list of most highly-cited authors list in 2018. In 2018, she was elected President of the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology.

Haydeh Payami, Ph.D.

The University of Alabama at Birmingham

Haydeh Payami received a PhD in Genetics from the University of California at Berkeley. She has served as Professor of Genetics and Neurology at Oregon Health & Science University, Senior Research Scientist and Director of Genomics Institute at New York State Department of Health Wadsworth Center, and is currently Professor and Endowed Chair in Parkinson’s research in the Departments of Neurology and Genetics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Dr. Payami is the founder and the lead investigator of the NeuroGenetics Research Consortium. Payami lab studies the interaction of the human genome, the gut microbiome and environmental factors in the etiology, progression and treatment of neurodegenerative disorders.

Richard Smeyne, Ph.D.

Thomas Jefferson University

Richard Smeyne received his doctorate in anatomy from Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia and conducted his post-doctoral training in molecular neurobiology at the Roche Institute of Molecular Biology. He joined the St. Jude staff in 1996. Dr. Smeyne’s research focuses on the cell biology of Parkinson’s disease, with an interest in the interactions between the immune system and the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord). He has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, The Michael J. Fox Foundation, The National Parkinson Foundation and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. Dr. Smeyne is a member of the National Parkinson Foundation Scientific Advisory Board and has published in high-impact journals including Nature, Science, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Cell and the Journal of Neuroscience. Currently, he serves as an editor for PloS One.

John Duda, MD

University of Pennsylvania

John Duda is the national director of the Parkinson’s Disease Research, Education and Clinical Center (PADRECC) for the Department of Veteran Affairs, as well as the local director of the PADRECC at the Philadelphia VA Medical Center. He is also an associate professor of neurology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. His research activities include basic science investigations into the role of Lewy pathology in the pathophysiology of Parkinson’s disease and related disorders as well as investigations into the mechanisms involved in the development of chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

He has received research grants from the Department of Veterans Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, the Samueli Foundation and the Pennsylvania State Department of Health. He is currently on the editorial board of Movement Disorders and has served as a peer reviewer for over 30 journals. He has authored more than 100 scientific publications including articles in JAMA, Science, Neuron, The New England Journal of Medicine and Neurology.

Genetic Counseling & Testing for PD: Pearls for the Practitioner

The Genetics Bootcamp is an innovative educational approach combining high-yield lectures by experts in genetics covering topics important to movement disorders experts. The Genetics Bootcamp includes three parts: a pre-course lecture series covering basic genetics concepts, the genetics of Parkinson’s disease, and a different ways to access genetic testing, and in-person, live lecture series on hot topics in Parkinson’s disease genetics, and breakout sessions covering essential topics in genetic counseling for clinicians, researchers, and research staff. The overall purpose is to convey key concepts in Parkinson’s disease genetics and genetic counseling to improve the current practice of neurogenetics at PSG Centers of Excellence. CME will be offered.

Genetics Keynote Speakers

Thomas Tropea, DO

Penn Medicine

Thomas Tropea is an Assistant Professor in Neurology at the University of Pennsylvania, and specializes in Parkinson’s disease. His research focuses on understanding common risks among different neurodegenerative diseases and optimizing disclosure of genetic results.

Martha Nance, MD

Health Partners, Park Nicollet

Martha Nance is a board-certified neurologist and clinical geneticist with special interest in movement disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, hereditary ataxias and spastic paraplegias, as well as other neurogenetic disorders. She has served as the medical director of the Struthers Parkinson’s Center since 2000. In addition to the care of patients and families with neurologic diseases, she is also involved in clinical research to develop better treatments for Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease. Martha is interested in education for both patients and medical professionals. She currently serves as a clinical professor of neurology at the University of Minnesota.

PSG Coordinators PD Workshop: The Future of Clinical Research

The PSG’s goal for this workshop is to focus on the mentorship/training of coordinators who are committed to clinical research in the Parkinson arena. While there are several trainings and resources that a coordinator can utilize, there is no substitute for an in-person training workshop, focusing on peer mentorship. Institutional regulations can vary greatly depending on the coordinators’ location and each coordinator has their own unique set of strengths. This program would help them identify gaps/challenges at their institutions and reeducate and bring awareness of resources/tools that are available to them.

**All PSG Coordinators that register for this workshop and complete the survey will be funded two nights hotel stay at the Sheraton Grand Wild Horse Pass.

Workshop Facilitators

Grace S. Bwala, MBBS, MPH

Massachusetts General Hospital

Grace Bwala is a foreign trained primary care physician with over 17 years of service to patients in her home country, Nigeria that do not have access to healthcare resources. She joined the Movement Disorders team at MGH in 2007, where she currently serves as the senior research coordinator spearheading a vast number of clinical research studies in the movement disorders unit, neurology. Grace serves as the clinical coordinator member of the PSG executive committee, also serving as the coordinator for the Parkinson’s Foundation Center of Excellence dedicating time to serve patients with Parkinson’s Disease and their families. Overall, Grace’s diverse interactions with patients and families of all age groups over the years and her vast knowledge have taught her the importance of humility, sacrifice, hard work and creativity.

Karen Williams, Senior Research Coordinator

Northwestern Medical Center

Karen Williams is a Senior Research Project Manager at Northwestern. She has greater than 25 years of experience in clinical research, of which 16 were dedicated to Parkinson’s research. She has served on the Parkinson’s Study Group Executive Committee and on a number of community outreach committees. As a native Chicagoan, she is passionate about increasing awareness of PD research in Chicago. 

Raymond James, Clinical Research Nurse

Boston University

Raymond James is a Clinical Research Nurse in the Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Center at Boston University. He has been a member of the Parkinson Study Group since 2009 and has coordinated a wide variety of clinical trials in Parkinson’s as a clinical research nurse over the last 12 years. His clinical trial experience has included biomarker discovery, surgical studies, new and repurposed medicines, antibody infusions, and genetics. Raymond also has an interest in helping other coordinators to navigate the complexities of managing clinical trials and mentoring other coordinators.


PAIR Advocacy Workshop

Presented in partnership in with the Parkinson’s Foundation

Including representative populations of people with Parkinson’s in research is critical to ensuring study findings apply to broader communities and advancing health equity. Representative people with Parkinson’s need to be included, not only as study participants, but early and often in research design and implementation. This session will focus on real-world examples of projects focused on expanding diversity, equity and inclusion in research.

Researchers, people with Parkinson’s and the Foundation will share tips, resources, best practices and pilot projects that will provide key take-aways for getting started in creating inclusive, equitable and patient-engaged research studies.

PAIR Advocacy Featured Speakers

Karlin Schroeder, MA

Parkinson’s Foundation

Karlin Schroeder is the Associate Vice President of Community Engagement at the Parkinson’s Foundation, where she leads the Research Advocacy program. Through this program, Karlin creates and directs projects to incorporate patient expertise into research design and implementation with industry, academic centers and government. Her special interests include defining metrics sets and improving diversity and inclusion in patient engagement in Parkinson’s disease research. She is a steering committee member for the Clinical Trials Transformation Initiative and a strategic advisory committee member for Patient Focused Medicines Development. Karlin’s professional history focused on work with underserved populations in long term care, women’s health and international health. Karlin has a B.S. in psychobiology and psychology and an M.A in health advocacy.

Danielle Larson, MD

Northwestern Medical Center

Danielle Larson completed medical school at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, MA prior to completing Neurology residency training at Northwestern. She is a Neurology-Board Certified Movement Disorders specialist, after completing Movement Disorders fellowship at Northwestern’s Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Center. In addition to her clinical work, she conducts Parkinson’s disease research through involvement as an investigator on multicenter clinic trials, in community-engaged research for under-served PD populations, and on telemedicine utilization for Movement Disorders. She is passionate about increasing underrepresented group (URG) awareness of PD and their access to PD treatments and research opportunities, in line with a larger goal of improving PD research diversity, equity and inclusivity. She co-founded the Chicago Movement Coalition in 2019, a community-academic partnership which hosts community educational events for PD in URG-predominant Chicago communities. 

Adolfo Ramirez-Zamora, MD

University of Florida

Adolfo Ramirez-Zamora is currently an Associate Professor of Neurology and director of clinical trials at the University of Florida, Center for Movement Disorders and Neuro restoration, which is part of the Center for Translational Research in Neurodegenerative Diseases and the McKnight Brain Institute. Dr. Ramirez practiced neurology over the past 5 years at the Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Center at Albany Medical Center where he served as an Associated Professor of Neurology and the Philly E. Dake Chair in Movement Disorders. Dr. Ramirez completed a surgical internship at Mercy hospital of Philadelphia along with a medicine internship At Bassett Healthcare Hospital in Cooperstown, NY. He then went on to complete his neurology residency at Loyola University Chicago followed by fellowship training in movement disorders at the University of California San Francisco. Dr. Ramirez’s unique areas of expertise encompass management of the entire spectrum of movement disorders, cerebellar ataxias and the use of botulinum toxin injections and Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) for the treatment of movement disorders.

His research interests include investigating new DBS surgical and programming techniques in movement disorders, understanding the neurophysiological brain changes observed in these conditions and the use of neuromodulation for the treatment of uncommon neurological diseases. Dr. Ramirez has a strong interest and experience in conducting clinical trials in Neurology. His clinical focus comprises evaluation of experimental therapeutics in neurology with interested in developing newer treatments in movement disorders.  He serves as a member of the Diversity leadership program and Science Committee at the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) and he is an active member of the Ataxia foundation, Movement Disorders Society, Parkinson Study Group, and Huntington Study Group.

Chantale Branson, MD

Morehouse School of Medicine

Dr. Branson is currently an Assistant Professor of Neurology, Course Director at Morehouse School of Medicine, and adjunct Assistant Professor of Neurology at Boston University Medical Center. Dr. Branson completed her neurology residence, movement disorders, and sleep medicine fellowship at Boston University Medical Center. Dr. Branson is the first movement disorders specialist at Morehouse School of Medicine. Under her stewardship, Morehouse became the first historically black institution to join the Parkinson’s Study Group (PSG) consortium. She has also developed a movement disorder clinic at Grady Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. 

Her research interests include eradicating racial disparities among people with Parkinson’s disease. This includes exploring physician and environmental factors that may impact the inequity among people with Parkinson’s disease. Dr. Branson is an active member of the Movement Disorders Society. 

PSG Industry Roundtable

The Industry Roundtable will provide a forum for the Parkinson Study Group and industry representatives to share ideas and resources with the PD community. The goal of the Industry Roundtable is to foster positive engagement and ensure effective communication as industry and the PSG collaborate on shared opportunities to support research and serve patients with Parkinson’s Disease.

Benefits of the Industry Roundtable

  • Engage in meaningful dialogue that aligns with your interests and values in the common quest for advancing research into cures and care for patients with PD.
  • Explore shared opportunities with the North America’s largest not-for-profit scientific network of Parkinson’s centers.
  • Network with some of the foremost key opinion leaders in Parkinson’s research in the field.
  • Share your ideas for positively impacting the future of PD research and patient care.

Interested in participating in the Industry Roundtable?

Industry representatives will be chosen by the PSG Executive Committee and spots will be filled on a first come first serve basis. Space will be limited to 1 representative per company. They will be required to give a brief introduction of themselves, their company’s PD program, and what is currently in their pipeline. All presentations are without slides. If you are interested in being a part of the Industry Roundtable, please reach out to Jeanne Paiko (

PSG Annual Meeting

June 2-5, 2022

Sheraton Grand Wild Horse Pass
Phoenix, AZ

Exhibitors – Thursday, June 2 – Sunday, June 5

Akimel Foyer

Thursday, June 2

2:00 – 6:00pm Jr. Investigators Workshop (Invitation Only)
3:00 – 5:00pm HBI-002 Advisory Committee
5:00 – 6:00pm WATCH-PD Steering Committee
6:00 – 8:00pm PSG Executive Committee (Invite Only)
8:00 – 9:00pm TOPAZ Steering Committee

Friday, June 3

7:00 – 8:30am Breakfast for all
7:00 – 8:00am TOPAZ PSG Recruitment (Open to All)
32nd Annual Parkinson Study Group Meeting and the 34th Annual Symposia of the Parkinson Study Group
1:30-2:00pm PSG Posters & Awards
1:00 – 2:30pm Lunch for all
2:15 – 3:30pm EARSTIM-PD
2:30 – 3:30pm PSG Mentoring Committee (MC)
2:30 – 3:30pm WATCH-PD
3:00 – 4:30pm PAIR Advocacy (Invite Only)
3:30 – 5:00pm SURE-PD3 Data-Mining Meeting (Day 1 of 2)
5:00 – 7:00pm PSG Reception for all
6:30 – 8:30pm AT-HOME PD Steering Committee Only)
7:30 – 9:00pm Genetics/Environmental Risk Working Group

Saturday, June 4

7:00 – 9:00am Breakfast for all
7:00 – 8:30am Cognitive/Psychiatric (Behavior) Working Group
7:00 – 8:30am Motor Features Working Group
8:30 – 10:00am Other Non-Motor Working Group
8:30 – 10:00am Biomarkers Working Group
9:00am – 12:00pm PSG Coordinators PD Workshop: The Future of Clinical Research
10:00 – 11:30am Atypical Parkinsonian Disorders Working Group
10:00 – 11:30am Health/Care Outcomes and Disparities Working Group
12:00- 1:30pm Lunch for all
12:00 – 1:30pm PSG Industry Round Table (Open to all)
1:30 – 4:30pm Genetic Counseling & Testing for PD: Pearls for the Research Team
(Registration Required)
4:30 – 4:45pm Break
4:45- 6:15pm PSG General Session (Open to all)
6:15 – 6:30pm PSG Group Photo (members only)
6:45 – 8:00pm PSG Coordinators Dinner & Networking Event (Coordinators only)
6:45 – 8:30pm PSG Investigators Dinner Session (Investigators only)

Sunday, June 5

7:30 – 9:00am Breakfast
7:00 – 8:30am Functional Neurosurgical Working Group
8:30 – 9:30am RAD-PD Meeting
9:30 – 11:00am SURE-PD3 Data-Mining Meeting (Day 2 of 2)
11:00am – 12:00pm AID-P Meeting
12:00 – 1:30pm SPARX3 Meeting