PANUC Researchers

Thomas J. Montine, M.D., Ph.D.

2012_Montine_ThomasAlvord Professor and Chair, Department of Pathology
University of Washington

Dr. Montine is responsible for the organization and operation of PANUC. He chairs the PANUC Executive Committee to coordinate and integrate the components, activities, and resources of PANUC and align them with local, university, national, and international initiatives. He is responsible for allocation and monitoring of PANUC funds and selection of key personnel. Dr. Montine is on faculty at the University of Washington where he is the Chair of the Department of Pathology and holds the Nancy and Buster Alvord Endowed Chair. He is an Adjunct Professor of Neurology at OHSU and maintains interactions with NIH scientific leadership and administration, other Centers in the Udall Centers program, and other PD-focused efforts nationally and internationally. Dr. Montine has an outstanding record of NIH-funded research in the neurobiology of neurodegenerative diseases and is a productive collaborator.

Brenna Cholerton, Ph.D.


Acting Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
University of Washington

Dr. Cholerton is a junior faculty member at UW whose PANUC Pilot Award investigated an emerging therapy for AD in PD participants with cognitive impairment. PANUC recognized her exceptional talents and potential to be a leader in the neuropsychology of PD, and recruited her to our Clinical Core where she has been very productive. Dr. Cholerton is the PANUC representative to the Movement Disorders Society PD-MCI Study Group, an international consortium focused on examining the validity of PD-MCI.


Thomas J. Grabowski, M.D.


Professor, Departments of Neurology and Radiology
University of Washington

Dr. Grabowski brings functional imaging and cognitive neuroscience expertise to the field of PD-related cognitive impairment. As Director of UW IBIC, he received an ARRA RC4 award that developed new imaging partnerships at UW, including PANUC. His PANUC Pilot Award investigated functional connectivity fMRI in PD participants, and their response to pro- cholinergic medication. He mentored junior faculty member Dr. Madhyastha, PhD, whose work developed the novel approaches proposed in Project 2.


Karen Edwards, Ph.D.

small_V55A8236Affiliate Professor, Department of Epidemiology
University of Washington

Dr. Edwards is currently Professor of Epidemiology at the University of California Irvine and Affiliate Professor of Epidemiology at UW. She is a founding member of PANUC and continues in the Analytical Core. She built the two-site PANUC database between UW and OSHU, and a remote entry system for PDCGC collaborators. She has considerable expertise in leading and participating in broad interdisciplinary research projects, and as a genetic epidemiologist brings additional statistical expertise to PANUC. She collaborates extensively with Dr. Zabetian; they have 23 joint publications: 15 are from PANUC, and 4 since she relocated.

Fay Horak, Ph.D.

Fay-Horak-250Professor, Department of Neurology
Oregon Health and Science University

Dr. Horak received two PANUC Pilot Awards focused on cognition and quantitative measures of B&G. One demonstrated that PD with freezing of gait (FoG) has impaired cognitive response inhibition but not set-switching or executive function compared to PD without FoG. The other showed that PD+FoG had significantly reduced structural but increased functional connectivity in a circuit associated with cognitive response inhibition.63 The strong relationships between cognition and gait led us to include innovative B&G testing in the Clinical Core and Project 3.


Shu-Ching (Gene) Hu, M.D., Ph.D.

hu_1354224389Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology
University of Washington

Dr. Hu is a movement disorder neurologist and founding member of PANUC Clinical Core. He contributed to a number of epidemiologic and genetic studies of PD, and in recognition of his growing expertise as a clinical researcher, Dr. Hu was selected as principal investigator of the Seattle site for Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI). He also is co- Medical Director of the Information and Referral Center of the WA American Parkinson’s Disease Association, a liaison between the community and medical professionals.

Jodi Lapidus, Ph.D.


Professor, Department of Biostatistics
Oregon Health & Science University

Dr. Lapidus is Professor of Biostatistics and Head of the Division of Biostatistics in Public Health and Preventive Medicine at OHSU, and also directs the Biostatistics and Design Program (BDP) – OHSU’s statistics collaboration and consulting unit. Particularly relevant to PANUC is experience in incorporating data from new technologies (e.g., B&G measures) into research, and development of diagnostic biomarker signatures. Dr. Lapidus is a member of the PANUC Analytical Core where her expertise complements the genetics and epidemiology expertise of Dr. Edwards.

Ignacio Fernandez Mata, Ph.D.


Acting Instructor, Department of Neurology
University of Washington

Dr. Mata was a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Zabetian’s lab at the inception of PANUC and was appointed UW faculty in 2011. He is a well-published neurogeneticist focused on PD and cognitive impairment who co-authored 17 PANUC publications (6 as first author), and who has been at the forefront of PANUC genetic research during the inaugural award. Dr. Mata has established many international collaborations, including the Latin American Research Consortium on the Genetics of Parkinson’s Disease (LARGE-PD), and since 2012 has brought 5 visiting fellows to UW). He is a co-investigator in the Analytical Core and proposed Project 1.

Jay Nutt, M.D.

news2smallProfessor, Departments of Neurology & Physiology
Oregon Health & Science University

Dr. Nutt is Professor of Neurology and Physiology at OHSU and previous Director of the Parkinson’s Center of Oregon, Dr. Nutt has been part of the PANUC from its founding. He was awarded the prestigious Movement Disorders Research Award from the American Academy of Neurology for his leadership in proof-of-concept drug trials for PD. He collaborates closely with Dr. Horak in relating specific types of executive function deficits and locomotor circuitry disorders to B&G disorders in patients with PD. Dr. Nutt has extensive experience in clinical research and neurology training to PANUC and is a Co-Investigator in Project 3.


Joseph F. Quinn, M.D.

QuinnProfessor, Department of Neurology
Oregon Health & Science University

Dr. Quinn has been engaged in VA and NIH-funded translational research in neurodegenerative disease for over 15 years. His focus was AD until the initial funding of PANUC, when he assumed the role of PANUC Clinical Core Site PI at OHSU, and subsequently overall Clinical Core Leader. In recognition of his success with PANUC, Dr. Quinn subsequently was appointed Director of the VA’s Northwest Parkinson’s Disease Research, Education, and Clinical Care Center (PADRECC) and Director of the Parkinson’s Center of Oregon.

Cyrus P. Zabetian, M.D., M.S.


Associate Professor, Department of Neurology
University of Washington

Dr. Zabetian is Leader of the Analytical Core and spearheaded the creation of the PD Cognitive Genetics Consortium (PDCGC). He is co-Director of the UW Movement Disorders Fellowship Program and has mentored four fellows on projects based on PANUC data. Dr. Zabetian serves on the Board of Directors of the Washington Chapter of the American Parkinson Disease Association and on the Scientific Advisory Council of the Lewy Body Dementia Association.

Jing Zhang, M.D., Ph.D.


Shaw Professor, Department of Pathology
University of Washington

Dr. Zhang is a leader in proteomics-based discovery and targeted validation of biomarkers related to PD and AD. Dr. Zhang is Associate Director of PANUC and has collaborated for years with Dr. Montine. In addition to direct participation in the Analytical Core, Dr. Zhang also leads a U01 that is linked to PANUC and is part of the NINDS PD Biomarker Program. Indeed, this U01 is directly dependent on the samples from PANUC Clinical Core. Additionally, Dr. Zhang is a part of the task force of biomarker programs associated with PPMI, funded by Michael J. Fox Foundation, and also linked to the Clinical Core of PANUC.