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 PDF of the member list here.

Roger Albin, MD, Co-Chair (2015-2018)
University of Michigan
109 Zina Pitcher Place – 5023 BSRB
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2200
(734)764-1347     (734)764-1347     Fax: (734)763-7686
Assistant: Denice Heckel -
Download Dr. Albin's bio here.

Brad A. Racette, MD, Co-Chair (2015-2018)
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 -

Kevin Biglan, MD, MPH (2015-2018)
University of Rochester
School of Medicine and Dentistry
265 Crittenden Blvd., Suite B240
Rochester, NY 14620
(585) 275-2427     Fax (585) 276-1870
Assistant: Jillian Lowell -

Robert Chen, MA, MBBChir, MSc (2014-2017)
Catherine Manson Chair in Movement Disorders
Professor of Medicine (Neurology), University of Toronto
7MC411, Toronto Western Hospital
399 Bathurst Street
Toronto, Ontario Canada M5T 2S8
(416)603-5207     (416)603-5207     (416)603-5424     (416)603-5424 (direct)     Fax: (416)603-5004
Assistant: Rhoda Ortiz -

James Leverenz, PhD (2014-2017)
VA Puget Sound Health Care System
Mailstop S-182 GRECC
1660 S. Columbian Way
Seattle, WA 98108
(206)277-1047     (206)277-1047     Fax: (206)764-2476

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.

Tiago Mestre, MD (2015-2018)
Ottawa Hospital Civic Site
1053 Carling Avenue, Rm. C2194A
Ottawa, Ontario K1Y 4E9 CANADA

Ronald F. Pfeiffer, MD (2015-2018)
Professor, Department of Neurology
Oregon Health & Science University

Robert White, MD, PhD (2014-2017)
Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology
University of California, San Francisco
1635 Divisadero Street
San Francisco, CA 94115-1838
(415) 353-2311     Fax: (415) 353-9060

Michele York, PhD (2015-2018)
Baylor College of Medicine
Department of Neurology
6550 Fannin Street, Suite 1801
Houston, TX 77030
(713) 798-7438     Fax: (713) 798-6808

Robert White, MD, PhD (2014-2017)
Clinical Instructor, Department of Neurology
University of California, San Francisco
1635 Divisadero Street
San Francisco, CA 94115-1838
(415)758-1407     (415)758-1407
Assistant: Roderick Brown -

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 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