Dr. Gilbert Hosts: Taking Research From the Lab Into Our Lives

In this special episode of Dr. Gilbert Hosts, esteemed guests Dr. Bentley, Dr. McFarthing, Dr. Shahnawaz, Dr. Standaert, and Dr. Weintraub discussed taking research from the lab to our lives. Two APDA-funded researchers spoke about their current research projects along with doctors who are treating patients to discuss the potential these research projects have to dramatically improve the lives of those living with PD now and in the future. Our guests also answered questions live. 

Watch the broadcast now on APDA’s YouTube Channel

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Dr. Nicole Bentley received her M.D. from the Medical College of Georgia, her clinical residency training in Neurosurgery at the University of Michigan, and subspecialty training in Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery at Emory University. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Alabama in Birmingham, Alabama, and works closely with the Department of Neurology performing deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery for movement disorders and surgery for epilepsy. Her laboratory is focused on analyzing brain signals recorded from patients performing various cognitive tasks during awake surgeries, in order to understand how neuronal signaling patterns give rise to cognitive control, and how cognitive impairment arises from dysfunctional circuits. Dr. Bentley was awarded an APDA post-doctoral fellowship grant in 2020.


Dr. Kevin McFarthing’s career as a PhD biochemist included Research & Development leadership positions in life sciences research products with Amersham, diagnostics with Serono, and consumer healthcare with Reckitt Benckiser. He is joint editor of the Clinical Trial Highlights section of the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease, a member of the Research Committee of Cure Parkinson’s, and is first author on a recent review of the clinical trial pipeline in Parkinson’s (https://content.iospress.com/articles/journal-of-parkinsons-disease/jpd219006 ). Dr. McFarthing collates the Parkinson’s Hope List (bit.ly/ParkinsonsHopeList), a database of potential therapies in research and clinical stages. He also chairs the Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement group for the Edmond J. Safra Accelerating Clinical Trials in Parkinson’s Disease program.

Dr. McFarthing was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2012 at the age of 55.


Dr. Mohammad Shahnawaz received his BSc in Chemistry from Magadh University in India, his MSc in Biochemistry from Jiwaji University in India, and his PhD in protein Biochemistry from Chosun University in the Republic of Korea. In 2009, he joined the University of Texas Health Science Center as a post-doctoral fellow and was promoted to instructor position in 2016. In 2018, he was promoted to Assistant Professor. His research focuses on understanding protein misfolding in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disorders.Dr. Shahnawaz received an APDA research grant in 2019.


Dr. David Standaert received MD and PhD degrees from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. Following his Neurology residency at the University of Pennsylvania, he was appointed a Howard Hughes Fellow and 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. Currently 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 APDA Scientific Advisory Board. His lab has a longstanding interest in the basic mechanisms underlying Parkinson disease as well as the complications of therapy.


Dr. Daniel Weintraub is Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and Psychiatrist at the Parkinson’s Disease Research, Education and Clinical Center (PADRECC) at the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center. As a board-certified geriatric psychiatrist, he conducts clinical research in the psychiatric and cognitive complications of Parkinson’s disease. He serves on multiple task forces and working groups of the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society and is a member of APDA’s Scientific Advisory Board.

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