1990-1995 Ph.D. in Anatomy, The Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Hershey, PA
1986-1990 B.S. cum laude in Biology, Gannon University, Erie, PA
Present - Associate Professor, University of Rochester, NY
2002-2008 Assistant Professor, Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY
2001–2002 Research Assistant Professor, Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY
1997-2001 Research Associate, Department of Physiology, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, IL and the Evanston Hospital Department of Neurology, Evanston, IL
1995-1997 Research Fellow, Department of Neurosurgery, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH
1997-2001 Ruggles Fellowship in Movement Disorders, Evanston Hospital Department of Neurology.
1996 Recipient of the National Hydrocephalus Foundation Award for presentation of research at the Pediatric Section Meeting of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons.
1994-1995 Academic Year P.E.O. Scholar Award Educational Grant .
1993 Teacher Appreciation Award presented by the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine.
1993 The Pennsylvania State University Graduate Assistant Award for Outstanding Teaching.
1992 Excellence in Teaching Award presented by the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine.
Patient Care Bio
Sensorimotor Integration in the Basal Ganglia
Many variables influence the decision of whether and when to initiate, suppress, or alter a movement in progress. These decisions, and the movements that follow, are likely orchestrated using basal ganglia circuitry. We postulate that one role of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) is to arrest highly practiced movements or movements that are in progress in order to allow for the evaluation of the need for an adjustment of the movement command. The decision to generate a voluntary movement is preceded by evaluation of the context in which the movement is to occur. Consider the factors that influence our motivation to pet a purring cat, or to suppress the petting of a dog. Prior experiences providing a cumulative record of positive or negative outcomes are likely to be strong influences in these evaluations. For instance, prior experiences with a family cat may have proven to be pleasing, whereas a menacing encounter with an unfamiliar dog may have had adverse consequences. These are simple examples of how past and current context contribute to the ultimate decision to move. If the neural circuitry that is responsible for these evaluations are impaired, inappropriate inhibition or facilitation of movements will occur. Several lines of evidence suggest that STN function is impaired in Parkinson Disease (PD) and that treatment with dopamine agonists (Levadopa) or STN deep brain stimulation (STN-DBS) may further alter STN function, changing the way in which voluntary movement decisions are made. Work in collaboration with Jonathan W. Mink, MD, PhD and Michelle Burack, MD, PhD examines the effects of drug and deep brain stimulation treatments for PD by quantifying limb movement during the performance of tasks that require sensorimotor integration.