Ihtsham Ul Haq, MD

Dr. Ihtsham Haq joined the University of Miami as Chief of the Movement Disorders Division in September of 2020.  His passion for the study of the brain began at Columbia University, at which he completed degrees in Bioengineering and in Philosophy. He obtained his medical degree at SUNY Downstate and his Neurology residency training at Georgetown University. After his residency he spent three years at the University of Florida’s Movement Disorders & Neurorestoration program at the Norman Fixel Institute for Neurological Diseases performing his movement disorders fellowship training. From there he was recruited to the Wake Forest School of Medicine in North Carolina. He spent the next ten years there and reached the position of Associate Professor in Departments of Neurology and Neurosurgery. Highlights of his tenure at WFSM include bringing it into the NIH’s premier early clinical trial research consortium NeuroNext, performing pioneering brain implantations for the treatment of Tourette syndrome and obsessive-compulsive disorder, and working on multiple NIH-funded projects to phenotype the motor and nonmotor effects of basal ganglia disease.


Dr. Haq’s overall research interest has been in understanding and improving the care of patients with movement disorders, with a focus on technology and brain circuitry. He has been funded by the National Institute of Health, Parkinson’s Foundation, and Smallwood Foundation, as well as partnering with industry to bring better treatments to patients. His NIH funded research has included work on both common (Parkinson’s & Alzheimer’s disease) and rare disorders (ATP1A3 rapid onset dystonia syndrome). He has been performing Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) surgeries since 2006 and has been part of pioneering efforts to improve targeting, increase the types of devices available to patients, and expand the number of diseases that are treated by the technique. In addition to using DBS to treat Parkinson’s disease, Essential Tremor, and Dystonia, he has used it to treat patients with medication-refractory Tourette’s syndrome and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Dr. Haq has also worked to advance the success of clinical trials, and shortly after being selected to the NIH Clinical Trial Methodology Course in 2017, served as the CoPI of the Wake Forest site for NeuroNext. He now fills the same role at UM.


Since joining UM in 2020, Dr. Haq has overseen rapid growth in the Movement Disorders division. The division now includes six fellowship-trained movement disorder faculty, two advanced care practitioners, and four fellows, practicing across six clinics in South Florida. He has established new partnerships with the American Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, Parkinson’s Foundation of Southwest Florida, and CurePSP Alliance, as well as substantially deepening the division’s longstanding relationship with the Parkinson’s Foundation and Huntington Disease Society. From a trials standpoint, UM is now collaborating on more than 35 industry, NIH, and foundation-funded studies. With respect to DBS, UM implanted more than 100 leads in 2022 and was part of the pivotal trials for both Boston Scientific and Abbott’s DBS devices. He has also made it a focus to take concrete steps to ensure historically underrepresented patients are provided the opportunity to participate in research at UM, including pipeline programs, advocacy, and disparity research. He considers it a privilege to lead this dedicated, compassionate, and experienced team of providers as it strives to redefine the standard for the understanding and care of movement disorders.


Dr. Haq joined the University of Miami Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute (EMBI) in 2021, as a  collaborator and scientific advisory board member, concentrating on aging and vascular influences on cognitive changes in Parkinson’s Disease (PD). He is spearheading a large developmental program exploring brain imaging markers in normal aging and vascular and cognitive shifts in PD. In a pivotal EMBI imaging initiative, Dr. Haq collaborates with a talented team: BME PhD student Taylor Ariko, neurologists Dr. Matt Feldman and Dr. Constantin Stojanovic, BME’s Dr. Weishao Zhao, the Institute for Data Science and Computing’s Dr. Nick Tsinoremas, and Dr. Azizi Seixas, Chair of the Department of Informatics and Health Data Science. This interdisciplinary team is pioneering innovative machine learning algorithms and AI frameworks for MRI scans, focusing on the EMBI’s oldest old cohort, PD patients, and those with cognitive impairment, Lewy body, or undergoing DBS. Furthermore, alongside EMBI Director Dr. Tatjana Rundek, Dr. Haq is instrumental in advancing EMBI’s clinical, research, and educational endeavors at the University of Miami.


James E. Galvin, MD, MPH

James E. Galvin, M.D., M.P.H. is a  Professor of Neurology and Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. He is the Founding Director of the Comprehensive Center for Brain Health, Director and Principal Investigator of the Lewy Body Dementia Research Center of Excellence, and Chief of Cognitive Neurology for Palm Beach and Broward County leading brain health and neurodegenerative disease research and clinical programs. Dr. Galvin has authored over 300 scientific publications and 3 textbooks on healthy brain aging, cognitive health, Alzheimer’s disease, Lewy Body dementia, and related disorders. Dr. Galvin has received over $100 Million in research funding from the National Institutes of Health, Alzheimer’s Association, Michael J Fox Foundation, American Federation for Aging Research, Lewy Body Dementia Association, Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration, Missouri, New York, and Florida Departments of Health, and numerous Private and Family Foundations.


The major focus of Dr. Galvin’s clinical and research career has been to improve the clinical care and quality of life for all older adults from diverse backgrounds and their family caregivers who are dealing with neurodegenerative disorders in order to initiate early intervention, alleviate psychosocial burden on the patient and family, reduce the impact of race, language, culture, and class on the delivery of health services, and improve health outcomes. His current research program focuses on four themes: (1) Developing and validating new clinical assessment scales to improve detection of cognitive impairment in multicultural community samples to improve health outcomes; (2) Studying the interaction between race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and multiple chronic conditions on the risk of cognitive impairment; (3) Characterizing the clinical, cognitive, behavioral, and biomarker features of neurodegenerative disorders; and (4) Creating novel precision-medicine based interventions based on individual phenotypic, biomarker, and genomic profiles aimed at ADRD risk reduction and dementia prevention.

Christian Agudelo, MD

Dr. Christian Agudelo grew up in Miami, Florida. He received a bachelors degree in biomedical engineering from Duke University. He completed medical school at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Funded by a NIMH R25 research fellowship, he studied the psychophysiology in Parkinson’s Disease in medical school. Funded by a NIMH T23 research fellowship, he investigated neuroimaging markers of late-life cognitive and mood disorders at the University of Pittsburgh. He completed residency training in neurology and a fellowship in sleep medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine / Jackson Memorial Hospital. Upon completion of clinical training, he continued as a clinical instructor and the Evelyn F. McKnight Neurocognitive Scholar at the University of Miami, as he developed a research focus investigating the relationship between sleep and cognitive decline. His research currently aims to (1) identify features of sleep physiology associated with cognitive decline, and to (2) identify sleep-related markers of preclinical cognitive decline. He emphasizes working with historically understudied Black and Latino populations both in South Florida and throughout the United States. As sleep can be manipulated pharmacologically, surgically, and behaviorally, he ultimately intends to clinically optimize sleep to mitigate cognitive aging and dementia.

As the Co-Director of Education for the McKnight Brain Institute, Dr. Agudelo develops programs to train residents in cognitive neurology and promote the careers of trainees interested in research. He also works with various community organizations to educate the public about sleep and cognitive health by giving talks throughout South Florida. Dr. Agudelo is a member of professional and scientific organizations dedicated to clinical practice, research, and service, including the American Academy of Neurology and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

David Loewenstein, PhD, ABPP/CN

Dr. David Loewenstein is the Director of the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience and Aging and Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences for the University of Miami School of Medicine. He is a board-certified clinical neuropsychologist and Director of the Division of Neuropsychology. Previously, Dr. Loewenstein served as Director of Neuropsychology Laboratories and Research at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, FL and Chief of Psychology for Jackson Memorial Hospital. He has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health at the University of Miami for more than 25 years and has brought in over 21 million dollars in Federal and State grants. His work is regularly published in top scientific journals and is considered cutting-edge. Dr. Loewenstein’s laboratory has a long history in the development of innovative cognitive and neuropsychological instruments and examining their relationship with biomarkers of brain health (amyloid and tau PET scans and CSF, MRI, fMRI). Dr. Loewenstein developed the first scale for the direct assessment of functional capacity in Alzheimer’s disease which has been translated into numerous languages. Most recently, Dr. Loewenstein and associates developed the Loewenstein and Acevedo Scales for Semantic Interference and Learning (LASSI-L), a cognitive stress test to address the concern that current neuropsychological measures may not capture the earliest stage of Alzheimer’s disease. The LASSI-L is a sensitive marker of the early manifestations of AD and has been increasingly adapted by other laboratories.

Philip McCabe, PhD

Philip McCabe, Ph.D., is a Professor and Chairman of the Psychology Department at the University of Miami (UM). Previously, he served as the Associate Chairman of the department and as the Director of the interdisciplinary Undergraduate Neuroscience Program at UM. Dr. McCabe received his Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research examines the neurobiology of emotional behavior, and the impact of social-emotional behavior on the development of cardio-metabolic disorders. This research has been funded for over 30 years by NIH and NSF grants. More specifically, this research program examines the influence of social environment and CNS mechanisms on the progression of cardio-metabolic disorders in animal models of dyslipidemia, insulin resistance, and cardiovascular disease. As Chairman of the Psychology Department, Dr. McCabe also oversees the departmental Cognitive Neuroscience Program and its functional MRI facility. Dr. McCabe is a Fellow of the Academy of Behavioral Medicine, and was elected President of that organization in 2010. He is a member of the UM university-wide Neuroscience Ph.D. Program, and in 2001 he was one of the co-founders of the Undergraduate Neuroscience Program.

William K. Scott, PhD

William K. Scott, Ph.D. is Professor and Vice-Chair for Education & Training in the Dr. John T. Macdonald Foundation Department of Human Genetics, and Professor of Neurology and Public Health Sciences at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. He is a core faculty member of the John P. Hussman Institute for Human Genomics and Executive Director of the UM Brain Endowment Bank, one of six NIH-supported centers in the NeuroBioBank network. Dr. Scott¹s research focuses on the identification of gene and environment interactions that influence the risk of complex diseases. Dr. Scott is one of four principal investigators in a multi-center study examining genetic influences on the progression of symptoms in age-related macular degeneration, and one of three lead investigators of a study in Midwestern U.S. Amish communities aiming to identify genetic factors that protect from the development of age-related cognitive impairment. Other research examines genetic factors underlying primary open-angle glaucoma, genetic susceptibility to tuberculosis, and staphylococcal sepsis. He is the program director for the NEI-funded Ocular Genomics Training Program and the Master of Science in Genomic Medicine program and has served as primary mentor to four graduate students and three post-doctoral fellows.

Olveen Carrasquillo, MD, MPH

Dr. Carrasquillo is a Professor of Medicine and Public Health Sciences at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine. He is a Puerto Rican born physician who was raised in the Bronx. He graduated summa cum laude from the Sophie Davis School of Bio-Medical Education at City College, and obtained his MD degree from the New York University School of Medicine. He completed a three-year internal medicine residency at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, Harvard’s two-year General Medicine Fellowship and an MPH from the Harvard School of Public Health. Prior to UM, Dr. Carrasquillo was Director of the Center of Excellence in Health Disparities Research at Columbia University.

For the last nine years he has been the Chief of the Division of General Internal Medicine. He oversees a clinical, teaching and research enterprise of 44 full time faculty including six primary care practices and an additional ambulatory hospital based clinic at Jackson Health System (Miami Public Hospital system). Dr. Carrasquillo is a national expert in minority health, health disparities, community based participatory research, access to care and community health worker interventions. He has over twenty years of experience leading large NIH Center grants and randomized trials, totaling over $60 million in funding. His work includes research in diabetes, cardio-vascular disease, HIV, cancer and most recently in precision medicine. His research has been published in many of the nation’s top medical journals and he servers on numerous NIH grant review committees. He is also active in various national organizations, including numerous current and past leadership roles in the Society of General Internal Medicine, Physicians for a National Health Program, National Hispanic Medical Association and Latinos for National Health Insurance. In Miami, he is a Board Member of the Miami-Dade Area Health Education Center and the South Florida Health Council. He is often called upon by the media to discuss his research as well as health care topics of particular relevance to the Hispanic community including being a frequent guest on most of the major Latino television networks.

Miguel A. Perez-Pinzon, PhD

A major emphasis in our group is directed towards understanding the mechanisms of neuroprotection by ischemic preconditioning (IPC) against cerebral ischemia (as elicited by a stroke or cardiac arrest). We have demonstrated in brain that IPC is mediated by two key signaling pathways. One of these pathways is a protein kinase C isozyme epsilon. Another signaling pathway involves the NAD+-dependent class III histone deacetylase SIRT1. Our laboratory is fully engaged in defining how these signaling pathways protect neurons against cell death. We are currently studying how these pathways alter synaptic plasticity and ameliorate mitochondrial function.

Another area of emphasis in our group is defining mechanisms by which some signaling pathways alter synaptic function following cardiac arrest. Cardiopulmonary arrest remains one of the leading causes of death and disability in the U.S.A. The chances of survival following cardiac arrest are poor, despite fast emergency responses and better techniques of defibrillation. Cardiac arrest with its consequent disruption of blood flow sets in motion a cascade of cellular derangements that result in brain damage.

A third area of emphasis in our group is the definition of the mechanisms of mitochondrial dysfunction following cerebral ischemia. It has been postulated that delayed cell death after brain ischemia may result from two different mechanisms: apoptosis and/or necrosis. In both pathways however, mitochondrial dysfunction appears to play a pivotal role. We are currently investigating the signaling pathways that lead to mitochondrial dysfunction following cerebral ischemia.

Tatjana Rundek, MD, PhD, FANA

Tatjana Rundek, M.D., Ph.D., is a vascular and cognitive neurologist, clinical researcher and leader of several programs and projects on determinants of stroke, age-related memory loss, cognitive decline and brain health. She serves as a professor of neurology, executive vice chair of research and faculty affairs, and director of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine Department of Neurology Clinical Translational Research Division in Florida. She also is director of the Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute at the University of Miami.


Dr. Rundek completed a neurology and research fellowship at Columbia University in New York City. She was the first Fulbright Scholar at the Neurological Institute of New York – Columbia University Irving Medical Center.


Dr. Rundek is a collaborative scientist-investigator with over 550 peer-reviewed publications, editorials and book chapters. She has extensive research networks with multiple national and international research teams, including investigators from Columbia University on large National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded population-based studies of age-related neurovascular disease and the Einstein Aging Study on vascular cognitive decline. She serves as a team scientist-leader of large international stroke and aging projects and consortia, including the National Institute on Aging (NIA)-funded Precision Aging Network.


Dr. Rundek is a dedicated educator and mentor who leads educational and mentorship programs. She serves as training director of two large National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke-funded clinical trial networks, StrokeNet and NeuroNEXT. She is director of the NIA-funded 1Florida Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center Research Education Program and director of the University of Miami master of science in clinical translational investigation program and the K12 mentored career development research training program at the University of Miami Clinical Translational Science Institute. She was a recipient of an American Heart Association Mentor Award and an NIH K24 research training and career development grant.


Dr. Rundek has been an active member of a broader professional and scientific community. She is a section editor of Stroke for Brain Health and serves on the editorial boards of several influential scientific journals, including Neurology, Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine and Cerebrovascular Diseases. She also serves on the NIH and other professional organizations’ grant review study sections. She is a fellow of the American Heart Association (AHA) and American Academy of Neurology. She is immediate past president of the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission Vascular Testing Board of Directors, a U.S. organization that accredits clinical nuclear, PET, MRI, CT, ultrasound and carotid stenting programs. Dr. Rundek is past president of the Neurosonology Communities of Practice of the American Institute in Ultrasound in Medicine, the largest professional medical ultrasound organization in the U.S. In Florida, she serves on the AHA South Florida board and is a recipient of the prestigious AHA Cor Vitae for Stroke Award, In the Company of Women Outstanding Woman in Science and Technology Miami-Dade Award, and the Women in Academic Medicine Career Achievement Award. In 2022, she was elected to the Academy of Science, Engineering & Medicine of Florida





Xiaoyan Sun, MD, PhD

Dr. Sun started her medical career as a neurologist in China. She obtained her Ph.D. in neuroscience in Japan. She completed her neurology residency training at the Medical University of South Carolina in the United States. She completed a cognitive and behavioral neurology fellowship at the VA Boston Healthcare System in the United States. Her research activities have been primarily focused on Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders. Her earlier work includes characterization of biochemical properties of tau protein in the axonal transport and roles of amyloid protein in Alzheimer’s disease. She is one of the earliest researchers to establish quantitative amyloid ELISA in the field. Her long-term efforts are dedicated to identifying biomarkers for the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. Currently, she is working on the role of CSF synaptic proteins in cognitive function. She has been invited to be a reviewer for multiple journals on Alzheimer’s research. Dr. Sun provides clinical care to patients with cognitive disorders at the Memory disorder clinic of the University of Miami. She is also involved in educational programs for medical students, neurology residents, and is the Education Director for the Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute at the University of Miami. She is a co-director of the brain endowment bank in University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. Save [/av_textblock]