Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Molecular Integration in Neurological Diagnosis Initiative


June 26, 2023
Enrollment Concluded for Get Virtual PD

We have now concluded enrollment in the Get Virtual PD virtual genetic counseling research study. We have enrolled and disclosed genetic information to over 320 people with PD at UPenn. The information we learn from this study will help us make genetic counseling and GBA and LRRK2 gene variant testing available to everyone with PD at UPenn.

June 20, 2023
MIND is enrolling again!

We have kicked off new enrollment in MIND! Moving forward, we will focus on new patients to the UPenn PD Center with a diagnosis of PD. We will continue to enroll established patients by request or referral. If you are interested in joining MIND, please contact Dylan at

April 18, 2023
Not Done Yet! Enrollment Update!

The MIND team completed enrollment for all existing patients at UPenn in December 2022. But this does not mean MIND is over. We will begin enrollment in MIND targeting new patients to the center soon. Stay tuned!

April 10, 2023

We created a web-based genetics education tool to help patients learn about the genetic testing being done in MIND. We are comparing this form of genetics education to genetic counseling in a clinical trial called GET VIRTUAL. GET VIRTUAL has enrolled over 380 people and is nearing completion. Based on the results of this, we may make this genetics education tool available to everyone who enrolls in MIND.  

Spring 2023
SAVE THE DATE! On April 20th, 2023 the MIND team will partner with the Annual Jane Wright Symposium to offer patients, family members, community members, and guests an update on the latest research results from MIND and the impact of the MIND Initiative on clinical and research studies. Please see the flyer for more information. RSVP to

Page 1

Page 2

July 2022
Our team has worked hard over the last 4 years to reach this amazing milestone! Congrats to 1,500!

February 2021
MIND recruited its 1000th patient! We are grateful to all the patients, physicians, and staff that have kept our efforts going strong, even despite a global pandemic!

Noor Amari, MIND Research ​Specialist virtually enrolls our 1000th patient.


January 2021
The MIND research team published an article on the results of the first 652 people enrolled in MIND in the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease. You can find this article here: 10.3233/JPD-202406 

October 2020
David L. Dai and Thomas F. Tropea publish an article on Alzheimer’s disease genetic risk in people with Parkinson’s disease in Acta Neuropathologica. You can find this article here:

September 2020
MIND has gone virtual. Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic research coordinators will be reaching out to potential participants by telephone or MyPennMedicine messages. They will conduct visits using an audiovisual teleconference platform. Saliva collection kits will be mailed to participants. These visits will be completely remote without the need to visit the center. 

September 2020
Thomas F. Tropea received a K23 research training grant from the NIH/NINDS to study the genetic overlap between Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. 

September 2020
Thomas F. Tropea nominated co-chair of the Parkinson Study Group Working Group on Genetics and Environment

August 2020
Rachel Paul, GC, joined the MIND team as the Parkinson’s Disease Genetic Counselor. We are excited to have her on the team. Welcome, Rachel!

August 2020
Thomas F. Tropea gave a lecture at the Annual Parkinson Foundation Center of Excellence Leadership Conference on Tele-research Challenges and Opportunities.

October 30th, 2019
Alice Chen-Plotkin, Thomas F. Tropea, and Vivianna Van Deerlin presented at the Penn Center for Precision Medicine 3rd Annual Symposium. They spoke of Building a Precision Medicine Clinic for Parkison's Disease. 

August 26th, 2019
The MIND Team celebrates recruiting 500 people to the MIND Initiative with a small reception at Spice Finch.

August 16th, 2019:
MIND reached its 500th patient!

Our 500th patient and our tireless MIND team.
Our 500th patient and our tireless MIND team. 


May 21st, 2019:
MIND Director Alice Chen-Plotkin was recently interviewed by Benjamin Stecher. Benjamin is a writer, advocate, and teacher. He was diagnosed with Parkinson's in 2013 and now works as an industry and academic patient consultant. You can read the whole interview here.

Alice Chen-Plotkin and Benjamin Stecher at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Challenge Network Meeting February 2019


May 22, 2019:
Research Specialist, Noah Han, giving a presentation on the MIND Initiative at the Fox Research Fair to let patients know how they can get involved and answer questions they might have about MIND. 

March 27, 2019:
MIND Director Alice Chen-Plotkin was featured by the Chan Zuckerberg Science Initiative for Women's History Month.

Spring 2019:
Research Specialist, Noah Han, prepares for DNA extraction from blood samples collected at the Penn Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Center. The DNA will then be sequenced for genetic testing.

Winter 2019:
In February, MIND Initiative Director Alice Chen-Plotkin spoke at the launch of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Challenge Network about what is needed to accelerate the pace of therapeutic development in Parkinson's Disease.

Follow Alice on Twitter: @alicechenp

February 13th, 2019:
MIND Director, Alice Chen-Plotkin, gives her Penn Neurology Grand Rounds presentation titled: Updating our definitions of the neurodegenerative diseases for a molecular age. 

Fall 2018:
Read more about the MIND Initiative, genetic testing, and research trials in the latest issue of The Transmitter: Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders Center Newsletter of Penn Medicine.

October 31st, 2018:
MIND Director Alice Chen-Plotkin was featured on the Burroughs Wellcome Fund Awardee Profiles.

October 25th, 2018:
Jacqui Rick (R), MIND Technical Director, presenting data on cognition and Parkinson’s disease at the Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Research (CNDR) conference.

October 18, 2018:
Thomas F. Tropea, Instructor in Neurology and a member of the MIND team, gave a talk and led a discussion about the MIND initiative with Support Group Leaders at their Annual Meeting, held at the Hilton Hotel. 

September 7, 2018:
The MIND Initiative enrolls its first Parkinson’s patients at Pennsylvania Hospital! 
Read about MIND in the Philadelphia Business Journal and in Penn Medicine News.

August 23, 2018: 
New Parkinson’s disease biomarker guidelines invigorate drive for treatments. 

August 15, 2018:
40 researchers from academic institutions, pharmaceutical companies, government, and nonprofit foundations led by MIND Initiative Director Alice Chen-Plotkin argue that we need to understand the differences between people with the same disease. 
The original perspective piece is here.
You can read about it here: Tests for Parkinson's within Reach and here: Penn Medicine News.