Movement Disorders

The Parkinson Disease and Movement Disorders Center in the Department of Neurology at Boston Medical Center and BU School of Medicine has a long established clinical research program designed to improve treatments and outcomes. Over the years, we have been involved in some way in almost every major development in Parkinson research and care. Our research currently focuses on:

  • Bio-marker studies in Parkinson and Huntington Disease to improve accuracy of diagnosis earlier in the disease process and better understand disease progression
  • Pharmacological and rehabilitative therapies that aim to modify disease progression or provide symptom management
  • Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) in Parkinson, Essential Tremor, and Dystonia studying motor and non-motor experience over time. In addition studies to understand the utilization of innovative technology to improve health care delivery.
  • Health disparities associated with health care access, clinical care, and the patient experience
  • Rehabilitation focusing on the role of exercise, self-management strategies and quality of life across the trajectory of living with a movement disorder.

The research team includes four movement disorder neurologists, a clinical nurse specialist, a research nurse coordinator, a research program manager, and research assistants. Staff are members of the Parkinson Study Group and Huntington’s Study Group. The Center is designated an American Parkinson Disease Association Center for Advanced Research supported by the American Parkinson Disease Association. APDA Centers for Advanced Research must meet the highest academic standards and be distinguished leaders in the field of PD research. There are eight such centers across the country.

Our center participates in a longitudinal large data research program, the decade long Parkinson Progressive Marker Study (PPMI) sponsored by the Michael J Fox Foundation (MJFF).

Research Faculty and Staff                                                

Marie Saint-Hilaire, MD, FRCPC, FAAN
Katelyn C. K. Bird, MD
Steve C. Han, MD, MBA
Cathi A. Thomas, MS, RN, CNRN
Ray James, BSN, RN
Michael Stevenson, MS
Rosemary Owen, MS
Abigail Desrosiers, BS

Complementary research programs fostering strong collaboration exist in psychology (Vision and Cognition lab, Alice Cronin-Golomb, PhD), Rehabilitation (Center for Neurorehabilitation,  Theresa Ellis, PhD, PT) Medicine Bioinformatics (Adam Labadorf, PhD)

For a complete list of ongoing clinical trials visit