Professor of Neuroscience
Director, Jefferson Comprehensive Parkinson’s Disease Center, Vickie and Jack Farber Institute of Neuroscience
Thomas Jefferson University
Richard Smeyne is currently a Professor of Neuroscience and Director of the Jefferson Comprehensive Parkinson’s Disease Center in the Vickie and Jack Farber Institute of Neuroscience at Thomas Jefferson University. He earned his B.S. in Biology from St. Joseph’s University (Philadelphia), did M.S. work in Experimental Psychology at the University of Hartford (CT) and received his Ph.D. in Neuroanatomy from Thomas Jefferson University (both in Philadelphia). He completed his postdoctoral training at the Roche Institute of Molecular Biology in the labs of Drs. James Morgan and Tom Curran. Professionally, Dr. Smeyne has worked in both industry and academia. He has served as Head of Neurogenetics for Hoffmann-LaRoche and prior to his current position spent 20 years at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis. Dr. Smeyne’s research focuses on the cell biology of Parkinson’s disease, the role of exercise in neuroprotection, viral parkinsonism and the neurological effects of social isolation. His work has been continuously funded by the NIH, The Parkinson’s Foundation and/or MJFF for over 24 years and is recognized for several major breakthroughs that have transformed the understanding and treatment of Parkinson’s disease. He has more than 100 publications to his credit, and his work has been cited over 11,000 times. He is a sought-after speaker, giving numerous keynote addresses and University seminars. Currently, Dr. Smeyne is a Reviewing Editor for PLoS One and on the Editorial Board of The Journal of Parkinson’s Disease. Dr. Smeyne currently has 1 grant from the Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Disease, 3 grants from the NIH and 1 grant from the Parkinson’s Foundation. In 2018, Dr. Smeyne was honored with the Parkinson’s Foundation Impact Award and was recently awarded by the Philadelphia Inquirer the Excellence in Medical Research and an 2019 Influencer in Healthcare award.