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April 19, 2024

Renowned Parkinson’s Disease Expert to lead UVA’s Department of Neurology

The University of Virginia School of Medicine has named Xuemei Huang, MD, PhD, a distinguished leader, clinician, educator and scientist to chair its Department of Neurology. She is slated to begin Aug. 1.

Huang comes to UVA from the Penn State College of Medicine, where she has served as associate dean for physician-scientist development and chief of the Division of Movement Disorders. She is also the founding director of Penn State College of Medicine's Translational Brain Research Center, which pursues translational research on neurodegeneration related to aging and diseases. 

“Dr. Huang is an innovative translational researcher, practitioner and educator with a passion for building programs, mentoring, and fostering state-of-the-art patient care,” said Melina R. Kibbe, MD, dean of the UVA School of Medicine and chief health affairs officer for UVA Health. “She is committed to leading research that will improve care for our patients, and her experience aligns with UVA Health’s mission to transform health and inspire hope. I look forward to the future of the Department of Neurology under her leadership.”

As a patient-care leader at Penn State, Huang has helped grow the number of patients seeking care for movement disorders by building close partnerships between the patient-care team and the team at the Translational Brain Research Center and improving patient access.

Huang has authored more than 200 peer-reviewed research papers that have received more than 13,000 citations and has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health as a principal investigator since 2003. Since founding the Translational Brain Research Center in 2017, its key members have secured more than $35 million in external funding to support their groundbreaking research. 

Huang’s experience as an educator at the Penn State College of Medicine where she has put into place an innovative plan to recruit, support and retain physicians that includes a faculty mentorship program and a strategy to help faculty members receive more external grant funding. She also established the Argue-to-Learn program for medical students to debate key healthcare practice issues and help establish a foundation of open-mindedness and civil discourse.

Huang earned her medical degree at Beijing Medical University, followed by a doctorate in pharmacology at Purdue University. She then completed a medical internship at the University of Washington-Seattle, a residency in neurology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a fellowship in movement disorders and clinical research at Emory University.

“I was attracted to UVA by its excellence in its core mission areas that are essential to practicing modern neurology and to discovering better ways to diagnose and treat neurological conditions,” Huang said. “I look forward to bringing my experience in scientific discovery, building teams and mentoring talented clinicians and scientists to help nurture and grow this outstanding department.”

Huang will succeed Howard Goodkin, MD, PhD, who has served as chair since 2017.

“I want to thank Dr. Goodkin for his outstanding leadership of the Department of Neurology and the Division of Pediatric Neurology and for the expert and compassionate care he provides our patients,” Kibbe said. “His work as an accomplished researcher, clinician and educator and appointment as the first vice president of the American Epilepsy Society is a remarkable testament to his dedication to pediatric neurology, and I look forward to continuing to work with him.”

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