Dr. Gilbert Hosts: Meet Our APDA Researchers

Sometimes it is difficult to understand how Parkinson’s disease (PD) research that is being done now in a lab will benefit people with PD in “real life”. In this special episode of Dr. Gilbert Hosts, we spoke to APDA-funded researchers Dr. James Liao, Dr. Ryan Roemmich about their current research projects and how their work is designed to help people with PD, as well as Dr. David Standaert, Chairman of APDA’s Scientific Advisory Board about the important process by which APDA selects which grants to fund. Watch the broadcast now on APDA’s YouTube Channel and be sure to subscribe to the APDA YouTube channel for more informative and important resources for Parkinson’s disease.

Due to some technical difficulties, you’ll see we were unable to hear from one of our special guests, Dawn Jackson, during this broadcast.  We apologize for this inconvenience. We feel strongly that the perspective of people with Parkinson’s is important when talking about research and we’re thankful that Dawn is willing to answer some of our questions in writing after the program, which we will share with our community shortly.



The embedded YouTube video above should auto-play at the start of the broadcast. Click the volume icon to unmute or adjust the volume. If you’d like to participate in the Live Chat and submit questions for the Q&A, please join us on YouTube and sign in to participate. You can watch on your computer, phone, tablet, or smart TV using your preferred website browser or the YouTube App. Join now to get settled, adjust the volume, and say hello to the APDA staff and community members in the Live Chat.


Dr. James Liao is Associate Staff in the Center of Neurological Restoration at Cleveland Clinic in Ohio . His clinical and research interests are in Parkinson’s disease (PD) and related disorders where technologies like motion analysis, augmented reality, wearable sensors, neural signal recordings, and deep brain stimulation are used to assess and treat patients. He has a particular interest in the neural control of gait and gait impairment. Dr. Liao’s current research involves developing technology-based assessments and therapies for gait impairments and freezing of gait in PD. He sees patients with these types of disorders at Cleveland Clinic. Dr. Liao has a B.S. in electrical engineering and computer science from the University of California, Berkeley. He obtained his PhD in biomedical engineering in 2014 and his MD in 2016 from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH. He completed his neurology residency at Case Western Reserve University/University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center and a movement disorders fellowship at Cleveland Clinic. He was appointed Associate Staff in 2022.

Dr. Ryan Roemmich is an Assistant Professor at the Center for Movement Studies at the Kennedy Krieger Institute, and the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, MD. He completed a B.S. in biological systems engineering at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, a PhD in biobehavioral science at the University of Florida, and a postdoctoral fellowship at the Kennedy Krieger Institute/Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He is a human movement scientist interested in gait and rehabilitation of persons with neurologic damage or disorders. His research focuses on understanding how the nervous system controls movement and how we can improve movement in people with motor dysfunction.

Dr. David Standaert received MD and PhD degrees from Washington University in St. Louis, MO. Following his neurology residency at the University of Pennsylvania, he was appointed a Howard Hughes Fellow. He completed a three-year research and clinical fellowship in movement disorders at Massachusetts General Hospital. He was a member of the faculty at Harvard Medical School from 1995 to 2006 and then relocated to the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He is the John N. Whitaker Professor and Chair of the Department of Neurology and a senior member of the faculty of the Division of Movement Disorders. He directs the NIH-funded Alabama Morris K. Udall Center of Excellence in Parkinson’s Disease Research. He is Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board of the American Parkinson Disease Association. His lab has a longstanding interest in the basic mechanisms underlying Parkinson’s disease as well as the complications of therapy.

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