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Irene Litvan

Professor, Neurosciences, UC San Diego

Dr. Litvan is the Tasch Endowed Professor of Neurology at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) and Director of the Parkinson Disease Movement Disorder Center of Excellence at UCSD. She is a neurologist specialized in movement disorders, dementia and neuroepidemiology. One of her major research goals is to identify symptomatic and biological therapies that can improve the quality of life of patients with neurodegenerative disorders presenting with parkinsonism and/or dementia. To be able to study patients accurately, she has focused her research in improving or developing neuropathologic and afterwards clinical diagnostic criteria that would allow to identify these patients more accurately and finding robust diagnostic and outcome biomarkers. For more than 30 years, she has led or participated in several multicenter studies or international Task Forces to develop clinical and neuropathologic diagnostic criteria for parkinsonian and/or dementia neurodegenerative disorders (PSP, CBD, MSA, DLB, PD, PD-MCI, Prodromal PD and PDD) for which she received the National Institutes of Health merit award and recently the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) Movement Disorder Research Award and Uruguayan National Academy of Medicine entrance. Dr. Litvan has published more than 350 peer-reviewed articles and chapters, and she is senior editor of 4 books. Since her arrival to UCSD, the Center has become a Parkinson Foundation Center of Excellence, Research Center of Excellence in Lewy Body Dementia and CurePSP Center of Care. These designations recognize top medical institutions featuring comprehensive care teams that meet every patient need and provide access to clinical studies and experimental therapies while educating healthcare professionals and the community. She developed and directed two successful university fellowship Movement Disorder Programs and mentored successful investigators there and at the NIH. We currently mentor 2 US clinical fellows, research fellows and 1-2 international scholars per year who have gained success in academia and clinical research. She meets with mentees biweekly if they are interested to discuss their research projects and provide mentorship for their career aspirations. She is the Department Mentor Co-Director for Neuroscience, mentored junior faculty K proposals in two funded NIH studies: TRANSCENDS and COBRE and has been member of the NINDS NTS1 Review Section that reviews K23 and K08 awards. She has also been member of the AAN John Stolk Award Workgoup.