Parkinson’s Foundation Announces $1.1 Million Investment to Advance Expert Parkinson’s Training for Neurologists and Nurse Practitioners

NEW YORK & MIAMI (July 28, 2022) — The Parkinson’s Foundation has announced $1.1 million in funding for the Institutional Movement Disorder (IMDS) Fellowship Program and the Nurse Practitioner (NP) Fellowship in Movement Disorders. The 2022 recipients will receive unique Parkinson’s disease (PD) expert training, first-hand experience, and funding to launch individual research projects that aim to make life better for people with PD.

“Physicians and nurses are vital players in improving care for people with Parkinson’s and these fellowship programs continue our long-standing commitment of bolstering care teams,” said John L. Lehr, Parkinson’s Foundation President and CEO. “We are thrilled to launch the Nurse Practitioner Fellowship in Movement Disorders as the first program of its kind globally, further extending the Foundation’s international impact.”

The NP Fellowship program provides advanced subspecialty education by emphasizing clinical trials, deep brain stimulation (DBS), and a variety of interdisciplinary resources. Each NP Fellow is awarded up to $118,000 for the year-long experience. The 2022 NP Fellowship recipients include:

Abigail (Abby) Corriveau, APRN: Corriveau has spent most of her career in the neuroscience hospital setting. She will be completing her fellowship at the University of Florida and has a special interest in whole body wellness and the effects of nutrition and exercise on neurological disorders as well as the study of genetic mutations that contribute to diseases like PD. Corriveau received a B.S degree in nursing from Florida Gulf Coast University and a M.S. in adulty-gerontology primary care.

Kristen Matulis, DNP, APRN, AGNP-C: Matulis, who holds a B.S. in nursing from the University of Texas at Austin and a DNP from the University of Minnesota, has extensively practiced nursing in a variety of specialties. Her passion lies in aiding middle-aged and older adults towards reaching their goals, preserving their independence, and developing improved qualities of life amidst their diagnoses, particularly PD. During her fellowship at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, Matulis’ goal is to strengthen her knowledge in caring for those diagnosed with PD.

Patrick Walker, MSN, APRN, PNP-C: Walker has over 16 years of experience focused on the care of patients with acute and chronic neurologic disease or injury. He obtained his B.S. in nursing and M.S. in nursing with honors from the University of West Florida and is nationally certified as a Family Nurse Practitioner. Driven and motivated to work and learn with a comprehensive interdisciplinary team of providers, Walker aspires to promote health, hope and meaning for those seeking care and their families during his fellowship at the University of Florida.

The IMDS Fellowship program aims to train neurologists to become experts in PD care and support research directly impacting the understanding of PD or its treatments. Each IMDS Fellow is and awarded up to $207,000 for the two-year program. The four 2022 IMDS Fellowship recipients include:

Ekhlas Assaedi, MD: Dr. Assaedi attended medical school at Taibah University, Saudi Arabia, and completed her neurology residency at the University of Alberta. With a passion for movement disorders, Assaedi aspires to further develop her skills in research methodology during her IMDS fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic. Her clinical interests include parkinsonism disorders and deep brain stimulation's application in managing idiopathic PD and dystonia.

Nathaniel Bendahan, MD: Dr. Bendahan attended medical training at Université de Sherbooke and completed his neurology residency at Queen's University. Through his IMDS fellowship at Toronto Western Hospital, he hopes to continue developing his skills in the diagnosis and management of PD and other movement disorders. His research interests include the use of wearable technologies to assist with diagnosis of neurological disorders.

Jason Chan, MD, PhD: Dr. Chan earned a B.S. in life sciences from Queen’s University and completed the University of Western Ontario’s MD/PhD Neuroscience program, followed by neurology residency at the University of Calgary. As a neurologist, he is inspired to help patients and their families understand, reconcile with, and manage their disease. During his IMDS fellowship at the University of Florida, he hopes to investigate cognitive and motor control in PD, deep brain stimulation, and neuromodulation.

Joseph Seemiller, MD: Dr. Seemiller completed his residency training at Geisinger Medical Center in Pennsylvania. He has done research in Alzheimer's disease and enjoys helping patients with both movement and cognitive problems. During his IMDS fellowship at John Hopkins University, he will focus on developing research and will continue his work surrounding the use of PET imaging to study proteins involved in neurodegeneration.

In addition to the IMDS Fellowship Program and NP Fellowship in Movement Disorders, the Foundation strives to make a difference for healthcare professionals by offering several different grants encouraging young scientists, clinicians, and students to pursue the study of PD. For more information on the Foundation’s fellowship and early career awards, please visit


About the Parkinson’s Foundation
The Parkinson’s Foundation makes life better for people with Parkinson’s disease by improving care and advancing research toward a cure. In everything we do, we build on the energy, experience and passion of our global Parkinson’s community. Since 1957, the Parkinson’s Foundation has invested more than $400 million in Parkinson’s research and clinical care. Connect with us on Parkinson.orgFacebookTwitterInstagram or call (800) 4PD-INFO (473-4636).

About Parkinson’s Disease
Affecting an estimated one million Americans and 10 million worldwide, Parkinson’s disease is the second-most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer’s and is the 14th-leading cause of death in the U.S. It is associated with a progressive loss of motor control (e.g., shaking or tremor at rest and lack of facial expression), as well as non-motor symptoms (e.g., depression and anxiety). There is no cure for Parkinson’s and 60,000 new cases are diagnosed each year in the U.S. alone.

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