Research

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We have invested $1.2 million in funding of early-phase research that focuses on exercise, speech, movement and other factors that affect quality of life.

Science Advisory Board

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Members of the Foundation’s Science Advisory Board (SAB) play an integral role in fulfilling the Foundation’s mission. As internationally acclaimed experts in their respective fields, SAB members are responsible for evaluating research proposals and making funding recommendations to the Davis Phinney Foundation Board of Directors that increase understanding of the challenges associated with living with Parkinson’s disease.

SAB members participate in the selection of and monitor the progress of all quality of life research grants awarded by the Foundation. The diverse knowledge of SAB members, their deep personal commitment and their ability to foster high-level scientific investigation are what make the Foundation research program highly effective. Every member of the SAB serves on a voluntary basis on a two-year renewable term. We thank each of them for their time, energy and critical expertise they provide.

Members of the Davis Phinney Foundation Science Advisory Board:

Timothy J. Collier, PhD, Science Advisory Board Chair – Udall Center of Excellence in Parkinson’s Disease Research at Michigan State University
Dr. Collier is a Professor in the department of translational science & molecular medicine, an Edwin A. Brophy Endowed Chair in central nervous system disorders and the Director of the Udall Center of Excellence in Parkinson’s disease Research at Michigan State University. Dr. Collier’s research utilizes primary cell culture, rat and nonhuman primate models to study mechanisms of central nervous system aging, neurodegenerative diseases and the relationship between the two. He currently works to emphasize etiology and experimental therapeutics related to Parkinson’s disease.

After graduating from the University of Minnesota, Northwestern University and the University of Rochester, Dr. Collier began studying issues of dopamine neuron biology as they apply to aging, Parkinson’s disease and experimental therapeutics. Dr. Collier is a Past President of the American Society for Neural Therapy and Repair, Past Chairperson of the National Institute of Health CNNT study section, Associate Editor of the European Journal of Neuroscience and has published over 100 peer reviewed scientific reports. Dr. Collier serves as the Science Advisory Board Chair.

lauren-constantiniLauren Costantini, PhD, Prima-Temp, Inc.
Dr. Costantini is President and CEO of Prima-Temp, Inc, a digital health company revolutionizing the field of continuous temperature, addressing recognition of ovulation and acute illness. She is also a Biotech and Digital Health Advisor to emerging life science and medical technology companies as well as a Principal Consultant at LLC Consulting, LLC. Dr. Costantini plays a key role connecting her early-stage companies with potential partners, venture capital and angel investors, as well as directing due diligence for in- and out-licensing activities.

After graduating with bachelors of the science in biology and a PhD in neuroscience from Albany Medical School at the University of Albany, Dr. Costantini led several neuroscience research teams to develop therapeutics for neurodegenerative diseases at Harvard Medical School. She has over 20 years of experience developing therapeutics for several indications, with an emphasis on neurodegenerative diseases. Dr. Costantini was voted Business Advisor of the Year in 2011 by the University of Colorado and gave talk at at TEDxMileHigh entitled The Quantified Self: How Wearable Sensors Expand Human Potential. She holds board seats in several companies and non-profits.

Sue DubmanSue Dubman, MA, BA, University of California San Francisco Breast Cancer Center
Ms. Dubman is the Director for IT and Informatics at the University of California San Francisco Breast Cancer Center. Here, she is working as part of a multi-disciplinary team to change how research is done, how care is provided and how patients and providers interact with the health care system. Diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2009, Ms. Dubman became a member of the Davis Phinney Foundation’s Science Advisory Board because of her aim to improve delivery of clinical care and research.

After graduating with bachelors of the arts and masters of the arts from the University of Missouri and completing work towards her PhD at Brown University, Ms. Dubman began work in R&D informatics. She served as a Senior Director of Sanofi R&D, as a Director at NCI Informatics Initiatives and as a VP and CIO at two biopharma companies. Ms. Dubman and her teams have been the recipients of many awards and honors, including NCI’s Scientific Achievement Merit Award, the Service to America Medal in the Science category and the CIO-100 Award for innovation. She is an Assistant State Coordinator of the Parkinson’s Action Network, patient participant in the CAMD consortium, a graduate of the Parkinson’s disease Foundation’s Clinical Research Learning Institute and a member of the Patient Outreach Committee for the Michael J. Fox Foundation.

Ryan DuncanRyan Duncan, PT, DPT, Washington University
Dr. Duncan is an Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy and Neurology at Washington University in St. Louis. He works in the Locomotors Control Laboratory, where the broad focus of his research is to understand the effects of exercise on motor performance and quality of life in people with Parkinson’s disease. He also works in the Washington University program in physical therapy clinics with a specific focus on evaluation and treatment of movement dysfunction in people with Parkinson’s disease. He is interested in fall prevention in Parkinson’s and studies the use of clinical assessment tools and their accuracy in predicting falls. Through this work, he has published several studies examining the utility of different outcome measures in predicting falls as well as the effects of various treatments including medication, deep brain stimulation and exercise interventions in people with Parkinson’s disease.

After graduating with bachelors of the science degree in health science, Dr. Duncan completed his masters of the sciences in physical therapy at Maryville University and his doctorate in physical therapy in 2012 at Washington University. Dr. Duncan serves as a manuscript reviewer for 14 peer-reviewed journals and holds leadership positions within both the neurology section of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and Missouri Physical Therapy Association. He is a National Institute of Health Loan Repayment Program Recipient and received the APTA’s Chattanooga Research Award for best paper published in Physical Therapy in 2014.

Beth FisherBeth Fisher, PhD, PT, University of Southern California
Dr. Fisher is a Professor of Clinical Physical Therapy in the division of biokinesiology and physical therapy at the University of Southern California. She holds a joint appointment in the department of neurology, Keck School of Medicine at University of Southern California. Dr. Fisher is the Director of the neuroplasticity and imaging laboratory, primarily using Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation to investigate brain-behavior relationships during motor skill learning and motor control in both non-disabled individuals and individuals with neurologic disorders. Towards this goal she is currently studying the effects of aerobic exercise compared to skill training on functional recovery and brain repair in Parkinson’s disease using fMRI as a marker of neuroplasticity.

Dr. Fisher graduated with masters of the sciences in physical therapy, PhD in biokinesiology and a post-doctoral research fellow in molecular biology all from the University of Southern California. She began her work at Rancho Los Amigos Medical Center on the Adult Neurology and Brain Injury Services and continues to consult and teach nationally and internationally on current concepts for the treatment of adults with neurological disorders.

Joanne HamiltonJoanne Hamilton, PhD, Shirley-Marcos Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at the University of California San Diego, Advanced Neurobehavioral Health of Southern California
Dr. Hamilton is a Research Neuroscientist at the Shiley-Marcos Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at the University of California San Diego, studying cognitive changes associated with Lewy body spectrum disorders, including Parkinson’s disease and Dementia with Lewy bodies. In addition, Dr. Hamilton has a thriving private neuropsychological practice, Advanced Neurobehavioral Health of Southern California, in Mission Viejo and in San Diego. Here, she strives to assist treating physicians by documenting cognitive strengths and weaknesses, clarifying diagnoses, assisting with plans for the future and providing valuable recommendations to improve or maintain patient function. She also hopes to educate patients and their families about their disease process to give them as much autonomy as possible.

After graduating with bachelors of sciences from Stanford University, Dr. Hamilton completed her PhD in clinical psychology with specialization in neuropsychology from San Diego State University/University of California, San Diego joint doctoral program in clinical psychology. She completed her postdoctoral fellowship at the Shiley-Marcos Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center and gained her license to practice neuropsychology in 2003. In 2010, Dr. Hamilton also obtained her board certification in clinical neuropsychology from the American Board of Professional Psychology.

Doug RedoshDoug Redosh, MD, Lutheran Neurology Program
Dr. Redosh is the Co-Medical Director of the Lutheran Neurology Program in Colorado. He is board certified in neurology, having been recertified in 2014. He specializes in general neurology and also performs EMG’s, Botox injections and deep brain stimulation programming.

Dr. Redosh graduated with a physician assistant degree from St. Francis College and received his medical degree from Temple University. He completed his residency at the University of Colorado in 1994. Dr. Redosh has been the President of Northwest Neurology and Colorado Society of Clinical Neurologists and done volunteer work in the country of Bhutan.

John R. Sladek Jr., PhD, California Lutheran University
Dr. Sladek is the President of California Lutheran University. During his service, the University has seen a record enrollment rate and surpassed all prior years in philanthropic support. As the founding Vice Chancellor for Research at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Dr. Sladek provided oversight for over 3,000 clinical trails, five schools’ biomedical research and 42 Centers and Institutes. As Chief Research Officer he held oversight responsibility for 350 million dollars in annual research expenditures and created the vision for the Linda Crnic Institute for Developmental Disabilities. He has maintained a National Institute of Health-funded laboratory since 1974 that explores neural repair mechanisms for Parkinson’s disease. His first two of over 200 research publications appeared in the journal Science.

Dr. Sladek holds a bachelors of arts degree from Carthage College, where he serves as a Trustee, and masters of the sciences degree from Northwestern University School of Medicine. He completed his PhD at The University of Chicago Medicine, where he chaired the department of neurobiology, anatomy and neuroscience at two different medical schools. Dr. Sladek served as the Editor-in-Chief of Experimental Neurology for 15 years and is credited with revitalizing the journal to become a leader in neural repair and regeneration. He served on the Board of Scientific Counselors of the National Institute on Drug Abuse and recently completed his service as Chair of the Grants Review Group for the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, which is responsible for awarding three billion dollars for translational research. Dr. Sladek has presented over 300 invited lectures all over the world.

Diane StephensonDiane Stephenson, PhD, Critical Path Institute
Dr. Stephenson is an Executive Director of the Coalition Against Major Diseases at the Critical Path Institute, a consortium of multidisciplinary stakeholders dedicated to accelerating drug development for Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. She is a Neuroscientist by training, with 30 years combined experience in academic neuroscience and drug discovery. Dr. Stephenson is passionate about translational science and is dedicated to the discovery and advancement of therapies to treat diseases of the nervous system.

Dr. Stephenson received her undergraduate degree in biochemistry at University of California Santa Barbara and her PhD in medical neurobiology from Indiana University. She began her career in research on DNA content, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and Neuromuscular research. During her academic career, she focused her research on ALS and Alzheimer’s disease. In industries including Eli Lilly, Pharmacia and Pfizer, Dr. Stephenson contributed to identification and validation of novel targets for the treatment of Alzheimer’s, stroke and Parkinson’s disease. Her research focused on mechanisms of neuroplasticity and neurorepair in animal models with attention to translational biomarkers. As an ambassador for public-private partnerships, she has initiated many external academic collaborations.

John TewJohn M. Tew, Jr., MD, Cincinnati College of Medicine
Dr. Tew directs the community outreach and philanthropic efforts of the Integrative Medicine Program at UC Health Integrative Medicine at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. He also serves as a Tenured Professor of Neurosurgery, providing consultative services to patients and neurosurgeons. Dr. Tew has published more than 300 papers and book chapters, has co-authored four books, including the Atlas of Operative Microneurosurgery, and has held 70 visiting professorships in the United States and around the world.

After graduating from Wake Forest University in 1961, Dr. Tew performed his neurosurgical residency at the Harvard University affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital and Boston Children’s Hospital. Dr. Tew served as Chairman of the UC Department of Neurosurgery for 20 years before co-founding the UC Neuroscience Institute in 1998, where he led the institute in research of brain disease and injury for 15 years. In 2011 Dr. Tew was honored as a Great Living Cincinnatian by the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber. He has received the Health Care Heroes Lifetime Achievement Award from the Cincinnati Business Courier, the Boy Scouts of America Eagle Court of Honor from the Dan Beard Council, the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice medal and a Papal Honor presented by Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk. Dr. Tew is married to his wife, Susan, has three children, 10 grandchildren and is a retired Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve.

Thomas WoolleyThomas W. Woolley, PhD, Samford University
Dr. Woolley is a Professor of Statistics in the Brock School of Business at Samford University and is actively engaged in research. He has been a Co-Investigator on over 20 research grants, providing nearly nine million dollars in extramural funding. During this period he has published over 100 papers in a wide variety of academic journals with an additional 80-plus papers presented at research conferences. Aggressively promoting research in matters related to Parkinson’s disease is particularly meaningful to Dr. Woolley and his family, wife Mary Lyn and two grown children, Drew and McKenzie, as Dr. Woolley was diagnosed with the disease himself in 2013.

After graduating with a PhD in statistics and research design from Florida State University, Dr. Woolley began his career as a member of the faculty at the Quillen College of Medicine where he served as the Director of the Division of Biostatistics and Medical Computing. He worked as a Vice Chair, Professor and Head of Division at two universities with a focus on biostatistics. Dr. Woolley has been honored with the University of Alabama at Birmingham President’s Excellence in Teaching Award, named the Carnegie Foundation/CASE Alabama Professor of the Year and received Samford University’s Buchanan Award for Excellence in Classroom Teaching. He was named a Templeton Scholar in 2003 and for three years conducted post-doctoral research at the University of Oxford.

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