Posted April 23, 2015
Caroline Tanner, M.D., Ph.D., FAAN
On March 23rd, 2015, Caroline Tanner, M.D., Ph.D., FAAN, was invited to the White House to be honored as a "Champion of Change" for Parkinson's disease (PD). The "Champions of Change" Program honors community leaders for exemplary innovation, research, and activism in a specific field. The honorees are invited to the White House to share their knowledge and advocate for their cause. Dr. Tanner, one of nine recipients recognized for work for the prevention and treatment of PD, was honored for significant impact in the Parkinson's disease community.
Currently Dr. Tanner is the Director of the Parkinson's Disease Research, Education, and Clinic Center (PADRECC) at the San Francisco Medical Center, and a professor of neurology at the University of California, San Francisco. She has devoted over 25 years to identifying means of ameliorating and curing Parkinson's.
Dr. Tanner received three grant awards from the NETP (Neurotoxin Exposure Treatment Parkinson's Program) program to identify environmental risk factors for PD while also providing clinical treatment to affected patients. Among other outcomes, these projects piloted the development of a statewide registry for parkinsonism in California and Alaskan Natives. With the aid of colleagues, she also identified that exposure to polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) residues and organochlorine pesticides bio-accumulated in body tissues and were linked to increased risk for initiation and progression of PD.
With funding from a current NETP award, Dr. Tanner is extending the risk studies and examining the role of gene-environment interaction and the link between chemical exposures and the risk for PD morbidity and mortality.