James Beck, Ph.D., has led the scientific affairs of the Parkinson's Foundation since 2008. Dr. Beck oversees the foundation’s research strategy and programs, including management of grants that support research centers, individual investigators, fellows and collaborative projects. In his role, he has changed the parameters of investigator-initiated grants programs to provide additional funding and multi-year support to Parkinson’s-focused scientists; expanded funding for early-career Parkinson’s researchers, established Conference Awards and instituted the inclusion of Parkinson's Foundation’s Research Advocates in the foundation's own programs. Dr. Beck is a member of the Forum on Regenerative Medicine of the National Academies of Sciences and the Udall Center Coordinating Committee.
Dr. Beck is currently an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Neuroscience and Physiology at the New York University School of Medicine. Previously, he taught at Long Island University as Assistant Professor in the Biology Department. Additionally, Dr. Beck was a recipient of National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding and has been published in journals, such as the Journal of Neuroscience, Journal of Neurophysiology and Journal of Comparative Neurology. His research focused on the neural control of vertebrate motor systems and behavior.
Dr. Beck holds a B.S. from Duke University and a Ph.D. from the University of Washington, Seattle. He completed his postdoctoral training at the New York University School of Medicine. Dr. Beck frequently comments in the media about the implications of the latest Parkinson's science headlines.