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Management Team

Carrolee Barlow, MD, PhD
Chief Executive Officer

Carrolee Barlow, MD, PhD—renowned expert in neuroscience and neurodegeneration—joined the Parkinson’s Institute and Clinical Center as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in February 2014. Dr. Barlow is the second CEO in the Institute’s 25 year history. She takes the reins from Dr. J. William Langston, who founded the organization in 1988.

Dr. Barlow’s previous work has spanned clinical care, laboratory and clinical research, academia, and industry. She is the former Chief Scientific Officer and Chief Medical Officer of BrainCells, Inc. in San Diego, California, a biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of small molecules that stimulate adult hippocampal neurogenesis for the treatment of neurological and psychiatric disease using human neural stem cell technology. Prior to BrainCells, she served as the Director of Molecular Neuroscience and Therapeutic Area Head for Stroke and Neurodegeneration at Merck Research Laboratories where she was responsible for neuroscience biology, global exploratory, licensing, and full-phase efforts. Dr. Barlow has held a faculty position in the Laboratory of Genetics at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California. She also serves as an advisory board member for several biotechnology companies and disease foundations advancing therapies for rare diseases and disorders of the central nervous system (CNS).

Dr. Barlow received her MD from the University of Utah, did her residency in Internal Medicine at The New York Hospital, Cornell Medical Center, and went on to obtain a PhD in molecular and developmental biology at the Karolinska Medical Nobel Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. Shortly thereafter, she joined the National Institutes of Health and completed medical sub-specialty training in the field of endocrinology and a postdoctoral fellowship in neurogenetics at the National Human Genome Research Institute.



J. William Langston, MD
Founder, Chief Scientific Officer, Movement Disorder Specialist

Dr. Langston is a graduate of the University of Missouri, School of Medicine. He served as a faculty member at Stanford University Medical School and was Chairman of Neurology at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose, California before founding the Parkinson’s Institute and Clinical Center. Dr. Langston gained national and international recognition in the 1980s for the discovery of the link between a tainted “synthetic heroin” and parkinsonism. The bad batch of heroin proved to contain a substance known as MPTP, which is selectively toxic to the same nerve cells in the brain that die in Parkinson’s disease. The discovery of the biologic effects of this compound led to a renaissance of the basic and clinical research in Parkinson’s disease. He has authored or co-authored 360 publications in the field of neurology, most of which are on Parkinson’s’ disease and related disorders. Dr. Langston’s current research interests include the study of mechanisms of neuronal degeneration, the etiology of Parkinson’s disease, the development of new strategies to slow or halt disease progression, and ways to identify the disease in its earliest “pre-motor” stages. He has received numerous awards, including the Distinguished Achievement Award from Modern Medicine, the Sarah M. Poiley Award from the New York Academy of Sciences, the James Parkinson 30th Anniversary Award from the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, the Distinguished Clinical Investigator Award from Roche Pharmaceuticals, the Movement Disorders Research Award from the American Academy of Neurology, and the Robert M. Pritzker Prize from The Michael J. Fox Foundation in recognition of his lifetime leadership in Parkinson’s disease research and his exceptional commitment to mentoring the next generation of Parkinson’s researchers. He is the founding member of the Scientific Advisory Board for The Michael J. Fox Foundation, which he continues to serve on.



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