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Caroline M. Tanner, MD, PhD, a researcher at the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center and its nonprofit research institute NCIRE, was one of nine Americans honored at the White House, March 23rd, for advocating better treatments and a cure for Parkinson’s disease.

The White House Champions of Change, joined by the Parkinson’s Action Network, recognized the advocates, researchers and community and business leaders for their  inspiration to build awareness and invest in research that may one day save the lives of the 500,000 to 1.5 million Americans living with Parkinson’s disease.

Dr. Tanner, UCSF Professor of Neurology, directs the Parkinson’s Disease Research, Education and Clinical Center (PADRECC) at the SFVAMC. Her work includes facilitating collaborative research locally and internationally, and using technology to improve patient access to research and clinical care. Dr. Tanner is committed to multidisciplinary research, involving basic, clinical and epidemiologic scientists as well as people with Parkinson’s disease. She has mentored numerous pre- and post-doctoral students, many of whom are now faculty members in medical schools throughout the world.

Others honored as White House Champions of Change were:

  • Deborah W. Brooks, Co-Founder and Executive Vice Chairman, The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, Greenville, Delaware;
  • Steven D. DeWitte, President, Connecticut Advocates for Parkinson’s, New Preston, Connecticut;
  • Ray Dorsey, MD, MBA, Professor, University of Rochester Medical Center/Center for Human Experimental Therapeutics, Pittsford, New York;
  • Michael Okun, M.D., Professor, University of Florida Health Center for Movement Disorders and Neurorestoration, Gainesville, Florida;
  • Davis Phinney, Founder and Board Vice-Chair, Davis Phinney Foundation for Parkinson’s, Boulder, Colorado.;
  • Angela Maben Robb, Parkinson’s disease care partner and advocate, Fairfax, Virginia;
  • Gregory Wasson, JD, Board Member, Parkinson’s Action Network, Pinole, California;
  • Anne Wojcicki, Co-founder, 23andMe, Mountain View, California

See the White House Champions of Change website (

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January 28, 2019