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James Beck, Ph.D.

James Beck, Ph.D.

James Beck, Ph.D.
Vice President, Scientific Affairs

James Beck, Ph.D., has led PDF's scientific affairs since he joined the organization in 2008. In this role, Dr. Beck oversees PDF’s research grants programs, including management of programs that support research centers, individual investigators, fellows and collaborative projects.

In his first few years with PDF, as part of his goal to “fund ideas with the greatest potential to propel Parkinson’s research forward and improve lives as quickly as possible” he has:

  • changed the parameters of investigator-initiated grants programs to provide additional funding and multi-year support to outstanding scientists who qualify;
  • established the Conference Award, so scientists have funding to explore emerging issues in Parkinson’s therapy advancement; and
  • instituted the inclusion of PDF Research Advocates in PDF's own scientific programs as key stakeholders in the review and decision process.

Dr. Beck most recently held the positions of Assistant Professor in the Biology Department at Long Island University and remains an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Physiology and Neuroscience at New York University School of Medicine.

In addition to teaching courses for undergraduate and medical school students, Dr. Beck was a recipient of funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and has published in journals such as in the Journal of Neuroscience, Journal of Neurophysiology and Journal of Comparative Neurology.  His research focused on the neural control of vertebrate motor systems and behavior. 

Dr. Beck holds a B.S. from Duke University and a Ph.D. from the University of Washington, Seattle. He completed his postdoctoral training at the New York University School of Medicine.

Follow Dr. Beck on Twitter