Mentoring Committee

What is the PSG Mentoring Committee (MC)?

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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

Mentoring Committee Members

Download a Word doc 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
Columbia University

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:

Emily (Dunn) Hill, M.D.
Baylor College of Medicine
Parkinson’s Disease Center and Movement Disorders Program
7200 Cambridge, 9A
Houston, TX 77030
Download Dr. Hill's bio here.

Baijayanta Maiti, PhD (2016-2019)
Fellow, Movement Disorders
Washington University in St. Louis
660 S Euclid Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63110
(314)362-6902     Fax: (314)362-0168

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

Matthew N. Petrucci, PhD (2017-2020)
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Neurology
Movement Disorders Laboratory, University of Minnesota
717 Delaware St. SE, Room 516
Minneapolis, MN, 55414
Download Dr. Petrucci's bio here.

Allison Willis, MD
University of Pennsylvania

Cynthia Comella, MD (Advisor Program)
Rush University Medical Center
Department of Neurological Sciences
1725 West Harrison, Suite 755
Chicago, IL 60612
(312)563-2900     (312)563-2900     Fax: (312)563-2684
Assistant: Tracy Waliczek
Download Dr. Comella's bio here.

PSG Visiting Mentorship Program

Program Overview

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, 2019 and ending June 30, 2020.

  • 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 7, 2019. Applications should be sent by to email to Roseanna Battista.

To download a copy of the RFP for this program, click here.

PSG Advisor Program

Program Overview

The Parkinson Study Group (PSG) Mentoring Committee has an Advisor Program for new investigators who are initiating a research career or continuing work in an existing research area. This program is managed by the PSG Mentoring Committee chaired by Drs. Jon Stoessl and Roger Albin with members James Boyd, Jessica Calleo, Wendy Galpern, Jennifer Goldman, Michael McDermott, John Nutt, Kristen Pickett, Fredy Revilla, Joshua Shulman and Cynthia Comella.

A bank of advisors who are leading experts in Parkinson disease research are available to help investigators find a local mentor in their area (both research and geographic) or to provide general advice for pursuing specific research funding sources (foundations, etc.) are available. The advisors are not mentors per se, but rather facilitate finding a mentor or help the investigator begin a research career in a certain area.

To participate in this program, email Roseanna Battista for an application form.

After receiving your application and CV, the following steps will be taken:

  • We will select an appropriate advisor from our databank of voulunteers;

  • We will forward the name/email of the selected advisor to you within 7 business days;

  • You will then be able to contact the advisor via email to introduce yourself and set up an appropriate means of contact.

Both the advisor and advisee will keep confidential any information received or obtained as a result of participating in the program that is identified as confidential, or would be reasonably expected to be confidential, unless they agree otherwise.

We will solicit feedback from those using this program periodically. Questions regarding this program can be directed to Roseanna Battista.


Tara McIsaac, PT, PhD from Columbia University applied to the PSG Advisor Program because she needed help with career planning and development. Her specific area of interest is the affect of PD on multi-segment motor control during dual task activities, such as driving. She was matched with Daniel Corcos, PhD from the University of Illinois at Chicago because of his expertise in motor deficits in PD.

“The PSG mentoring program provided a valuable opportunity for me as a new investigator seeking grant-writing guidance to be paired with an experienced researcher within my area of study. The mentor selected for me was a great match! Thank you.”
– Tara McIsaac, Advisee

“I have enjoyed working with Tara because it has helped me to clarify my own thinking in terms of what is important for young investigators to focus on. I have also learned and benefited from talking to Tara and reading some of her work in terms of understanding more about what patients with Parkinson's disease find difficult when trying to perform two tasks at the same time. The benefit of the PSG program is that is pairs scientists with different knowledge bases at different stages of their careers and it allows them to learn from each other.”
–Daniel Corcos, Advisor