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Featured Scientific Advisory Committee Member
J. William Langston, M.D.
Founder, CEO and Scientific Director
The Parkinson's Institute and Clinical Center
J. William Langston, M.D., is the founder, CEO and Scientific Director of The Parkinson's Institute in Sunnyvale, CA. He has served on PDF's Scientific Advisory Board since 1988.
Dr. Langston published over 300 papers on Parkinson's disease (PD) and related disorders. In 1982, Dr. Langston gained international recognition for the discovery of a link between a "synthetic heroin" chemical, known as MPTP, and Parkinson's. His research led to the development of a new model for the study of PD and encouraged other scientists to look into the role that environmental factors might play in the cause of Parkinson's. More recently, Dr. Langston's studies have focused on mechanisms of neuronal degeneration, the cause(s) of PD, and the development of new strategies to slow and halt progression of the disease.
Dr. Langston previously served as a faculty member at Stanford University and as Chairman of Neurology at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose, CA. He earned his medical degree at the University of Missouri School of Medicine and completed both his internship and residency at Stanford University. Dr. Langston received additional training at the Meninger Foundation in Topeka, KS and the National Institute of Neurology in London.
Dr. Langston has won several awards for his research and efforts in the field, including PDF's 30th Anniversary Award in 1987; the Distinguished Achievement Award from Modern Medicine; the Sarah M. Poiley Award from the New York Academy of Sciences; the Movement Disorders Research Award from the Academy of Neurology in 1999; the Distinguished Clinical Investigator Award from Roche Pharmaceuticals; and the Donald Calne Lectureship International Award in 2008. He also co-authored The Case of Frozen Addicts, a book about the discovery of MPTP.
In 2006, Dr. Langston authored an article entitled, "More than a Movement Disorder" for PDF's newsletter, News & Review, to illustrate the importance of recognizing the nonmotor aspects of Parkinson's. It remains one of PDF's popular pieces to date, downloaded by hundreds of people each month.