PSG Committees

The PSG is comprised of eight (8) core committees that help execute and oversee our mission as a non-profit clinical trial organization. They are the Executive Committee, the Scientific Review Committee, the Study Budget Committee, the Publication Committee, the Credentialing Committee, the Mentoring Committee, the Symposium Committee, the Standards Committee. All PSG committee members serve a term of three (3) years based on the academic calendar year of July 1st to June 30th, unless otherwise noted.

It is the duty of each Committee Chair to nominate a replacement(s) for themselves at the end of their term, to be reviewed and approved by the PSG Executive Committee Chair & Co-Chair. Replacements for additional committee members rotating off are the responsibility of the committee Chair and or Co-Chair as appropriate. If the Chair & or Co-Chair are unable to source enough members to staff their committee, they may ask for the support of the PSG Executive Director and/or the PSG EC.

Executive Committee

The Executive Committee (EC) is comprised of 10 members. The Chair & the Co-Chair are elected as a partnership for a term of 6 years and are charged with overseeing the committee. Of the remaining 8 members, 2 are appointed by the Chair & Co-Chair, 4 are elected, and the remaining 2 seats go to the Chair of the Mentoring Committee and the Chair of the Scientific Review Committee. All EC terms are 3-years with members rotating off at intermittent intervals.

The EC is responsible for the following:

  • Developing and supporting the scientific projects of the PSG including but not limited to the review and approval of research protocols, principal investigators, co-principal investigators, and steering committees for these research projects.
  • Review and approval of the appointments of the Chairs of PSG’s standing committees
  • Formulating and maintaining standards for the PSG regarding the conduct of trials, publication policies, and conflict-of-interest guidelines
  • Overseeing the program and activities of the PSG including its annual meetings, symposia, and other administrative and scientific activities

Scientific Review Committee

The Scientific Review Committee (SRC) reviews all PSG research proposals, including prospective studies, whether observational or interventional. The SRC is composed of between 10 – 15 members, which is inclusive of the Chair & Co-Chair. Below is the process for review of a proposal by the SRC, which typically takes 4 – 6 weeks.

  • How does the SRC review process work?
    • SRC Chair & Co-Chair select three (3) formal reviewers for the protocol
      • A primary reviewer, a secondary reviewer, and a statistical reviewer
      • Reviewers have a minimum of two (3) weeks to review the protocol and submit their feedback
      • Proposals are scored on the NIH scale from 1-9
    • The SRC then meets to discuss the protocol with each reviewer presenting their feedback
      • SRC members all give their score and it is averaged for the purpose of sending to the sponsor
      • Meeting minutes are compiled and reviewed and then given to the sponsor along with a copy of each reviewer’s feedback
    • SRC recommendations for the project are then given to the PSG Executive Committee
      • Approved – the sponsor is eligible to proceed in their partnership with the PSG
      • Clarification needed – if there is missing information in the protocol or the SRC needs more information, they will request that the sponsor provide the requested feedback before making their final decision
      • Not-Approved – the SRC feels that the project is not a fit for the PSG based on the scores received during the review process

*Please not that if a project is not approved by the PSG, it is in-eligible to continue on as a PSG study unless the decision is overturned by the Executive Committee


Study Budget Committee

The Study Budget Committee is responsible for developing site start-up costs and close-out fees, in addition to the uniform “per subject fee” (PSF) for all PSG study proposals. Costs shall be representative of the needs of the majority of PSG sites. The Committee will also be charged with evaluating newly emergent issues related to site compensatory issues and shall make recommendations on budgetary issues to the PSG EC. The committee consists of three investigator and three coordinator members. 

A long-standing principle of the PSG is to develop a uniform rate for site payment and the PSF.  It is important for the PSF to reflect a rate that will allow for fair compensation to sites such that the decision of a site to participate is not unduly influenced by compensation issues.  Indirect costs vary by institution and will be negotiated on an individual site basis with the sponsor/CRO. If requested, the SBC can give a typical range for such costs for the sponsor to consider.  All sponsors/PI’s are required to obtain Study Budget Committee review prior to the finalization of contracting with the PSG. 

Publication Committee

The Publication Committee is responsible for an annual review of PSG publication policies and for making recommendations, if any, to the EC for additions or revisions to these policies. The committee assists the EC in the adjudication of problems or conflicts arising out of implementation of the PSG publication policy and reviews the authorship of manuscripts submitted for publication. The Publications Committee consists of a chair and approximately three to five other members.

The list of PSG publications can be found HERE.

Credentialing Committee

The Credentialing Committee is responsible for reviewing applications received from individuals interested in joining the PSG and conducting clinical trials.  The committee implements a uniform set of standards used in evaluating applicants and their sites.  The Credentials Committee consists of the co-chair of the EC, who is chair of the Credentials Committee during his/her term, and approximately nine other members.

For more information about the credentialing process please click HERE.

Mentoring Committee

The Mentoring Committee (MC) helps support the PSG’s mission of aiding young investigators with the tools needed to embark on their journey into PD clinical research. The MC consists of a Chair & Co-Chair, and approximately eight other members. The MC has four (4) major areas of oversight within the PSG:

  1. The Mentored Clinical Research Award (MCRA)
  2. The AAN/PSG Mentorship Forum
  3. The Visiting Mentorship Program (VMP)
  4. The Junior Investigator Workshop

Symposium Committee

The Symposium Committee (SC) organizes the symposia and other scientific forums such as the annual symposium on “Etiology, Pathogenesis, and Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease and Other Movement Disorders.” This is incorporated in the PSG’s aim to advance knowledge about the cause(s), pathogenesis, and clinical impact of Parkinson’s disease and related disorders, and to develop and implement scientific strategies to examine promising therapeutic interventions by providing scientific and medical information to professionals and the public regarding experimental therapeutics. The SC consists of a Chair and approximately 3-5 additional members.

As part of their role in the symposia planning process, the SC reviews all abstracts submitted and evaluates them for their scientific relevance specifically addressing the learning objectives set forth by the committee. Abstracts are also evaluated on whether or not they meet the clinical practice or knowledge gaps that exist regarding Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders.

Standards Committee

The Standards Committee is responsible for creation/maintenance of professional standards including the annual review of conflict-of-interest guidelines of the PSG, and for making recommendations to the EC for revisions of these policies. The committee also assists the EC in the oversight and adjudication of problems arising to maintain professional standards and implementation of these guidelines.

The committee considers and makes recommendations to the EC for any disciplining or expelling a voting or associate member of the PSG. The Standards Committee may be asked to investigate and recommend action upon charges or allegations of scientific or professional misconduct or concerns raised regarding conflict-of-interest, relevant to participation in PSG studies, committees or in leadership roles. 

The procedures for investigating allegations or concerns and consequent recommendations for disciplinary action or conflict of interest management will be at the sole discretion of the PSG. Such procedures and recommendations will be consistent with those taken by academic institutions, employing organizations, Federal or State granting or regulatory agencies, and/or professional organizations. If a conflict of interest or disclosure issue pertains to one or more members of the EC, the investigation and recommendation will be the responsibility of the remaining uninvolved members of the EC and the Standards Committee.

Nominating Committee

The Nominating Committee oversees the annual election process for the PSG Executive Committee. Unlike the other PSG committees that have a term of three (3) years, the Nominating Committee only has a term of one (1) year. The member(s) rotating off of the Executive Committee are made the Chair(s) of the committee for that year. They are charged with selecting an additional 2-4 members to join them on the committee. Please note that members of the Nominating Committee are ineligible to run in the current election.

Duties of the Nominating Committee:

  • Nomination of potential candidates for the election
  • Collection of candidate ballot information required for PSG election
  • Finalization of the annual PSG ballot
  • Confirmation of new EC appointments

If you would like to become more involved with the PSG or have questions about joining one of these committees, please

Executive Committee Members


MD, PHD, CHAIR (2018-2024)


MD, CO-CHAIR (2018-2024)

Grace S. Bwala




Joohi Jimenez-Shahed







MD, MS (2020-2023)


MD (2020-2023)

Allison Willis

MD, MS (2021-2024)


Dr. Schwarzschild is a Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School and Attending Neurologist at Massachusetts General Hospital. After Parkinson's disease fellowship training at MGH he developed a translational research program focusing on the role of purines — adenosine, caffeine and urate — among environmental and genetic influences in animal models and clinical studies of PD. He has developed and led phase 2/3 clinical trials toward disease-modifying therapy for people with Parkinson’s. At MGH he works with Parkinson's patients and their families in a weekly movement disorders clinic.


Hubert H. Fernandez, MD, is Professor of Neurology at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University; Chair/Director of the Center for Neurological Restoration at Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio. He is the holder of the James and Constance Brown Family Endowed Chair in Movement Disorders. He received both his BS in Biology and MD degree from the Philippines. He completed his internship in Internal Medicine at University of Pennsylvania/Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; his residency in Neurology at Boston University Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts; and his fellowship in Movement Disorders at Brown University in Rhode Island.

Dr Fernandez is an internationally recognized expert in movement disorders who has been voted one of the Best Doctors in America by his peers. After completing his medical training, he joined the faculty of Brown University School of Medicine as Assistant Professor in the Department of Clinical Neurosciences. In 2003, Dr Fernandez relocated to the University of Florida, where he eventually became Director of the Clinical Research Unit for Neurological and Psychiatric Disorders, Vice Chair of Academic Affairs, and Professor of Neurology prior to joining Cleveland Clinic. An active and productive researcher, he has led or participated in over 150 clinical trials and has published his findings in over 300 articles on Parkinson disease, DBS, behavioral and non-motor features of PD, cervical dystonia, blepharospasm, and other movement disorders. He has written a dozen books and has published 50 book chapters. He is currently the Co-Editor-In-Chief of Parkinsonism and Related Disorders, and has served on the editorial board of Movement Disorders and several other peer-reviewed journals.

Dr Fernandez is a fellow of the American Academy of Neurology and the American Neurological Association. He is currently elected for his second term as the Co-Chair of the Parkinson Study and Secretary of the International Association for Parkinsonism and Related Disorders, He served his third term as Co-Medical Editor of the Movement Disorders Society Website, which received the Standard of Excellence Award twice by the Web Marketing Association during his tenure. He has been a Councilor for the AAN Movement Disorders Section, Sectretary of the MDS Pan-American Section, Executive Committee Member of the Parkinson Study Group and Dystonia Study Group and served as the President of the Florida Society of Neurology and World Neurology Foundation. He was awarded the Most Outstanding Alumnus by his medical school in 2008, and the Presidential Distinguished Service Award by the Movement Disorders Society at the 16th International Congress for Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders in Dublin, Ireland in 2012.

Grace S. Bwala, MBBS, MPH

Grace was initially raised in the United Kingdom and then in Nigeria where she trained as a primary care physician. During her training, her rotations were spread across many fields of medicine where she learned to manage the overall wellbeing of families. She often worked with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that helped fund healthcare resources as they served patients in the local villages that could not afford to travel or pay for healthcare. To her this was very gratifying as it geared her thoughts towards public health. This interest led her to obtain her master’s degree in public and global health from New York Medical College about 9 years ago. Overall, her diverse interactions with patients of all age groups have taught her the importance of humility, sacrifice, hard work and creativity. This also gave her insight to explore other ways of building her knowledge through research as those were resources not available in her home country.

Grace joined the Movement Disorders team at MGH in 2007 as a research coordinator where she had the opportunity to focus her time and energy on the care of patients with Parkinson’s Disease. She has coordinated a variety of PSG studies which has given her the opportunity to serve and build great relationships with patients, their families, other study coordinators, monitors and other executive committee members. She currently serves as a Senior Clinical Research Coordinator at MGH, the coordinator for the Parkinson’s Foundation Center of Excellence, and also as a visiting primary care physician in my home country aiding patients that do not have access to healthcare. Being involved with the PSG has given me the opportunity to participate in research studies with which she is proud to be associated, and to learn from many mentors and colleagues.

CINDY CASACELI (2021-2024)

Ms Casaceli has directed the Clinical Trials Coordination Center (CTCC) for over 10 years with more than 25 years experience in the operational conduct of an academic research organization. She has overseen the conduct and compliance of clinical trials that have led to the FDA approve of seven compounds. She has served as the Administrative PI for 8+ studies including NIH funded SURE-PD3, Michael J. Fox Nilo-PD and FoxBioNet, and PDGENE with the Parkinson Foundation. She holds a BS in Biochemistry, MBA in Computer/Information Systems & Accounting, and a Leadership Coaching Certficiate.

Joohi Jimenez-Shahed, MD

Dr. Jimenez-Shahed is an Associate Professor of Neurology and Medical Director, Movement Disorders Neuromodulation and Brain Circuit Therapeutics. After completing her undergraduate degree at Washington University in St. Louis, Dr. Jimenez-Shahed received her medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) and Neurology residency training at Duke University Medical Center. She then completed a fellowship in Movement Disorders at the Parkinson’s Disease Center and Movement Disorders Clinical (PDCMDC) at BCM. Her research interests lie in investigating the intraoperative neurophysiology of patients undergoing deep brain stimulation (DBS) for movement disorders and the application of wearables and digital health technologies to the care of patients with Parkinson’s disease.

Dr. Jimenez-Shahed joined the PSG fresh out of fellowship in recognition of the networking opportunities it afforded as well as the chance to participate in the latest important clinical research in Parkinson’s disease (PD). As her professional interests developed in the arena of neuromodulation, she sought to develop her ideas within the Functional Neurosurgical Working Group (FNSWG).

As Co-Chair and Chair of the FNSWG, along with her co-I Jim McInerney, she established RAD-PD (Registry for the Advancement of Deep Brain Stimulation in Parkinson’s disease). Funded by MJFF, it is the first official study and database established within the FNSWG. Other FNSWG activities under her leadership have included shepherding several projects to publication or presentation at national meetings and formation of a Neuropsychology Focus Group.

Her additional service to PSG has included serving on the Credentials committee and Nominations committee, mentorship of junior members, and faculty participation at the PSG CME program from 2018-2020. Dr. Jimenez-Shahed has had varied roles in clinical trials over her career including: PI for several DBS investigator-initiated studies; Site Principal Investigator in multiple clinical trials across a variety of movement disorders; Site co-I, sub-I or rater for many more clinical trials; Key Advisor and Opinion Leader for Industry-sponsored trials; Development and implementation of a rater training program for an international clinical trial.

As a result of these activities, she is not only knowledgeable about clinical trials and research, but also about PSG infrastructure and resources, and the multi-faceted benefits the PSG offers to members.

ERIC MACKLIN (2021-2024)

Dr. Macklin is an Assistant in Biostatistics at Massachusetts General Hospital and an Instructor in the Department of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. His research interests focus on neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental diseases with an emphasis on clinical trial design.

He is an Executive Committee member of the Parkinson Study Group and an academic advisor for the Critical Path for Parkinson's Consortium. He was an organizing member and the lead biostatistician for the Airlie House Clinical Trials Guidelines for ALS research. He is a lead biostatistician for the Healey ALS Center Platform trial, for the phase 3 SURE-PD3 trial in Parkinson disease, and for the Autism Treatment Network. In addition to his work in neurology, he has a long and ongoing interest in evaluation of complementary and alternative medicine, serving as PI or statistician for trials of acupuncture, Tai Chi, and mind-body practices.


Joel S Perlmutter is Head of Movement Disorders and the Elliot Stein Family Professor of Neurology and Professor of Radiology, Neuroscience, Physical Therapy, and Occupational Therapy as well as Director of the American Parkinson Disease Association Advanced Research Center for Parkinson Disease and Director of the Huntington Disease Center of Excellence at Washington University in St. Louis.


Andrew Siderowf, MD MS is the Hurtig-Stern Professor of Neurology and the Chief of the Movement Disorders Division in the Penn Perelman School of Medicine Department of Neurology. He received his MD from Duke University, completed residency training at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and fellowship training in Movement Disorders and Experimental Therapeutics at the University of Rochester (under Ira Shoulson, MD). His research addresses the organization and conduct of clinical trials, particularly the use of biomarkers as outcome measures

TANYA SIMUNI, MD (2020-2023)

Dr. Simuni graduated with her medical degree from Leningrad Medical School and completed an internship in medicine in Leningrad, Russia. Dr. Simuni joined the faculty of the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in 2000 to build and lead a multidisciplinary movement disorders center that is recognized by the Parkinson’s Foundation, Huntington Disease Society of America and Wilson’s Foundation as a Center of Excellence and serves as a training model in the region. She is the lead investigator of a number of clinical trials on experimental pharmacology, non-motor manifestations, and pharmacological management of PD. She serves on a number of Steering Committees for the PD national clinical trials, several committees of the Parkinson Study Group and the Parkinson Foundation. She is the Site PI and serve on the Steering Committee for the largest PD biomarker initiative funded by the MJFF (PPMI study). Dr. Simuni is the site PI for the Network for Excellence in Neuroscience Clinical Trials (NEXT) Northwestern Clinical Site (U10). Dr. Simuni is an active member of the American Academy of Neurology, American Neurological Association, the Movement Disorders Society as well as the Parkinson’s Study Group.

Allison Willis, MD, MS (2021-2024)

Dr. Willis is an Associate Professor of Neurology and of Epidemiology (with tenure), a Senior Scholar in the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, a Senior Fellow at the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, and a Faculty Scholar at the Center for Pharmacoepidemiology Research Training at the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) School of Medicine. She is also the Co-Director of the UPenn Resource Center for Minority Aging Research.

Upon completing an adult neurology residency at the Washington University School of Medicine, Dr. Willis pursued a clinical fellowship in movement disorders and a research training program focused on analytical epidemiology, biostatistics, geographical information systems (spatial epidemiology), pharmacoepidemiology, and health outcomes research (culminating in a Master of Science in Clinical Investigation). She uses analytical epidemiology methods to pursue research questions relevant to clinical decision-making and health policy for neuroimaging populations through two complementary investigative paths. Her health services research program focuses on the complex ways patient factors (such as race, sex, comorbid disease, and geographical location) affect the interactions older adults with neurological diseases have with the U.S. healthcare system. Her pharmacoepidemiology research program focuses on the bidirectional relationships between neurological disease and CNS drug effects- such as whether neurological disease predisposes to specific adverse drug reactions and whether CNS-acting drugs influence neurological disease phenotype or progression.

Dr. Willis has been privileged to serve in several roles in the PSG since joining as a fellow, including Co-Chair of the Healthcare Outcomes and Disparities Working Group, Member of the Mentoring Committee, and Member of the Nominating Committee. She has also enjoyed and benefited from the research, collaboration, and mentoring opportunities made possible through the PSG at every stage of her career to date. As a fellow/ junior faculty member of the PSG, she has benefitted from PD-focused career development sessions at PSG meetings and learned to affectionately call herself a “Parkinsonologist.” Her cross-training and cross membership in the neurology, epidemiology, aging, and health services research communities requires that she communicate her research credibly for use by multiple stakeholders, varied audiences. Through formal and informal speaking opportunities at the PSG, she learned (and continues to learn) how to communicate her research for use by the academic PD community. Throughout Dr. Willis’s career, PSG members have guided and shaped her research ideas into work with the potential to advance our scientific conversations about health outcomes and disparities in Parkinson disease populations. Finally, the PSG has provided her with multiple opportunities to pursue her favorite teaching activity- mentoring, and has led to successful research collaborations, valued personal and professional connections.