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PDF Welcomes New Director of Research Programs

In September, the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation (PDF) welcomed James Beck, Ph.D., as its new Director of Research Programs.  In his new role, Dr. Beck will oversee PDF’s research grants program, which funds leading Parkinson’s disease (PD) research centers, talented individual investigators and special collaborative projects. 

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

At Long Island University and New York University, Dr. Beck was recognized as a gifted science educator and scientist.  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 published articles 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.

“Dr. Beck’s outstanding scientific credentials and management skills make him uniquely qualified for this critical senior position at PDF,” said Robin Elliott, PDF’s Executive Director.  “He brings not only a solid understanding of neuroscience but also a commitment to those living with Parkinson’s disease which will be essential in his role of helping to guide PDF’s research programs.”

“I look forward to working with the PDF Board of Directors, Scientific Director and staff to build on PDF’s long and rich history of funding the most promising scientific research in Parkinson’s disease,” said Dr. Beck.  “Together we will work to ensure that PDF’s research programs continue to advance the science to find the causes of and a cure for Parkinson’s disease.”

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To learn about the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation’s research programs, including this year’s grantees, visit