PSG Mentorship Program

PSG Visiting Mentorship Program

The PSG Visiting Mentorship Program is funded by a grant from Sunovion Pharmaceuticals. The goal of this program is to promote the continued development of newly trained movement disorders clinician-researchers into world-class investigators. This initiative focuses on the mentorship of young investigators committed to clinical research in the Parkinson arena by seasoned, established clinical investigators. While there are several courses and conference that a young investigator can participate in, there is no substitute for a personal mentor-mentee relationship, where the mentor can review the mentee’s proposed initiative(s), and meet with the mentee’s team, local set up, and provide in-person sage advice.

Available funds: PSG will award up to four awards totaling $7,450, including $5,000 for mentor honorarium and $2,450 for travel, meals, and incidentals related to mentoring.

The Project:

  • Project period is 1 year beginning July 1, 2021 and ending June 30, 2022.

  • Needs to be an investigation into an aspect of PD.

  • The investigators/research can be basic, translational, or clinical.

  • The short and long-term goals of the project should be clearly stated.

  • The reason(s) why a visiting mentorship is critical to the project should be described.

An electronic copy of the proposal in pdf-format must be received by the PSG on or before Friday, June 4, 2021. Applications should be sent by to email to Sarah Sperling.

Mentoring Committee


The PSG Mentoring Committee (MC) has three main roles.

1. To solicit, review, and select candidates to receive the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation supported mentored clinical research award. This is a major award in support of a project that is a practical training ground for individuals to acquire new skills and expertise in clinical research.

1. To serve as a resource for individuals who need assistance in formulating and developing protocols to the point where they are ready for review by the Scientific Review Committee.

1. To develop and organize innovative programs to promote interest in Parkinson’s disease research, facilitate the development of mentorship relationships, and increase awareness of resources within the PSG that can provide opportunities for initiating research efforts.

The Mentoring Committee oversees the PSG Advisor Program. Implemented in 2009, the PSG Advisor Program helps new investigators find a local mentor or specific research funding sources for their research.

Download a PDF of the member list here.

Brad A. Racette, MD, Chair (2018-2021)
Washington University School of Medicine
Department of Neurology
660 South Euclid Avenue Campus Box 8111
St Louis, MO 63110
(314) 362-8548 Fax: (314) 747-8289
Assistant: Tracey Erdman –

James Leverenz, MD, Co-Chair (2018-2021)
Director, Cleveland Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health
Dr. Joseph Hahn Endowed Chair of Neurological Sciences
Cleveland Clinic
9500 Euclid Avenue, U10
Cleveland, OH 44195
(216) 636-4044
Assistant: Shelley Sekerak –

Roy Alcalay, MD, MSc (2019-2022)
Columbia University
710 W. 168th Street
New York, NY 10032

John L. Goudreau, DO, PhD (2018-2021)
Director, Translational Neurobiology Research Unit Director, Movement Disorders Clinic Associate
Professor Department of Neurology Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology
B407 Clinical Center
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824
(517) 432-9277 Fax: (517)-432-9414
Assistant: Krista Leiter:

Ali G. Hamedani, MD, MHS (2019-2022)
Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Download Dr. Hamedani’s bio here.

Emily Hill, MD (2018-2021)
Baylor College of Medicine
7200 Cambridge, 9A
Houston, TX 77030
Download Dr. Hill’s bio here.

Lan Luo, MD, MS (2020-2023)
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center/
Harvard Medical School
Department of Neurology
330 Brookline Ave., KS220
Boston, MA 02215
(617) 667-1337 Fax: (617) 975-5454
Download Dr. Luo’s bio here.

Michael McDermott, PhD
University of Rochester
Department of Biostatistics
601 Elmwood Avenue Box 630
Rochester, NY 14642
(585)275-6685 Fax: (585)273-1031
Download Dr. McDermott’s bio here.

Delaram Safarpour, MD, MSCE (2019-2022)
Assistant Professor of Neurology
Co-Director of DBS Program
OHSU Parkinson Center & Movement Disorders Program
Portland, Oregon 97239
Download Dr. Safarpour’s bio here.

Allison Willis, MD (2019-2022)
Pennsylvania Hospital
330 S. 9th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 829-6500 Fax: (215) 829-7724

Mentored Clinical Research Award


The PSG MCRA is for new investigators in patient-oriented research in Parkinson’s disease and related disorders.

The Mentored Clinical Research Award (MCRA) for new investigators is funded by a grant from the Parkinson’s Foundation (PF) to the Parkinson Study Group (PSG). The PF collaborates with the PSG to encourage the professional and scientific development of young investigators on their path to independence. To this end, this grant supports a new investigator for a one year project in patient oriented research in Parkinson disease (PD) or other parkinsonian disorders. The new investigator works under the mentorship of an experienced investigator. Training should enhance the junior clinical research skills. The research plan should address unmet needs of people living with PD, have the potential for broad application among the PD community, and lead to advances in clinically relevant treatment options.

Award Timeline: Closed for 2020.
Congratulations to our selected recipient, Dr. Lan Luo! The Mentoring Committee was very favorably impressed by her proposal, “Understanding Neural Networks of Freezing of Gait.”