Two Rochester Scientists among Top Parkinson Researchers

July 13, 2011

Kim Tieu, Ph.D.

Two scientists at the University of Rochester Medical Center are among the world’s top researchers in the area of Parkinson disease, according to a recent study.

Karl Kieburtz, M.D., M.P.H., and Kim Tieu, Ph.D., are among the researchers cited in a recent study published last month in the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease. The study was done by Aaron Sorensen of GE Healthcare and publishing consultant David Weedon.

The study analyzed the number of times a scientist’s work has been cited by other scientists, the amount of new research that the person has published, and the ripple effect of the work in Parkinson disease as well as other areas.

Karl Kieburtz, M.D.

Both Kieburtz and Tieu are among the 100 scientists whose work has been cited most during the last decade by other scientists doing research on the disease. Also on the list is Ira Shoulson, M.D., a former University of Rochester neurologist who is now at Georgetown. Altogether, research by the three was cited more than 6,500 times during the last decade by other scientists.

It’s in this way that Rochester physicians and scientists help patients not only in the Rochester area, but around the world – by making scientific advances that ultimately contribute to new treatments available to many thousands of patients worldwide. Tieu’s work has been in the laboratory, while Kieburtz’s research has largely involved people with Parkinson disease.

Tieu’s research has focused on some of the molecular events that scientists believe are involved in the early stages of Parkinson disease. In one line of research, Tieu, who is assistant professor of Neurology and a scientist in the Center for Translational Neuromedicine and Environmental Medicine, is looking at ways to halt one of the most common cellular defects known in patients with Parkinson disease. In another line of research, Tieu and colleagues have identified a protein that seems to have a role bringing toxic chemicals to the doorstep of the brain cells that die in patients with Parkinson’s disease.

Kieburtz is a neurologist who has helped create networks of physicians that have served as hubs for many of the world’s largest studies of Parkinson disease. He is an expert on designing and implementing large-scale, multi-site clinical studies. Kieburtz, who is a professor in the departments of Neurology, Community and Preventive Medicine, and Environmental Medicine, has looked at whether substances such as the nutritional supplement coenzyme Q10 or the antioxidant urate slow the progression of the disease. Most recently, he founded the University’s Center for Human Experimental Therapeutics, which is designed to accelerate the development of new medical treatments through early-stage studies in people.

Kieburtz and Shoulson were also listed as two of the nation’s most-cited authors on Parkinson disease during the last quarter-century.

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