Caroline Tanner, M.D., Ph.D.

University of California, San Francisco

Caroline M. Tanner, M.D., Ph.D., FAAN, is Professor in the Department of Neurology, University of California – San Francisco and the Director of the  Parkinson’s Disease Research, Education and Clinical Center at the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Health Care System. Her clinical practice specializes in movement disorders. Her research interests include investigations of the descriptive epidemiology, environmental and genetic determinants, biomarkers, early detection, nonmotor disease features and trials for the secondary prevention, disease modification and symptomatic treatment of movement disorders and neurodegenerative diseases. Dr. Tanner and her colleagues have identified associations between exposures including certain pesticides, solvents and persistent environmental pollutants and increased risk of Parkinson’s disease, and a greater risk in individuals with certain genetic variants (gene-environment interaction). Her current research interests include the use of technology to increase participation in clinical research. She is the principal investigator of the Michael J Fox Foundation sponsored Fox Insight online study, co-Principal investigator of the Michael J Fox Foundation sponsored Path to Prevention study of prodromal Parkinson’s disease and co-Principal investigator of the National Institute on Aging-sponsored TOPAZ (Trial of Parkinson’s and Zolendronate) study, a partnership with the Parkinson Foundation.

Dr. Tanner is past co-chair of the Parkinson Study Group (PSG) and has  conducted numerous clinical trials with the PSG, NIH and industry sponsors.  Other research interests include work to facilitate collaborative research and improve patient access to research and clinical care, locally and internationally, including telemedicine, use of mobile technology and patient reported outcomes. An additional area of focus is the identification of PD-associated biomarkers (Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative, LABS-PD studies).

Dr. Tanner serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of the National Spasmodic Dysphonia Association, on the Linked Clinical Trials Committee of the Cure Parkinson’s Trust, and on committees for NIH and the American Academy of Neurology (AAN).  Her honors include the AAN Movement Disorders Research Award in 2012 and the White House Champions of Change for Parkinson’s in 2015.




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