The CCBP Team

Alberto J. Espay


Dr. Alberto Espay is professor and endowed chair of the University of Cincinnati James J. and Joan A. Gardner Family Center for Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders. He has published over 250 peer-reviewed research articles and book chapters, including 5 books. His research efforts have focused on the measurement of motor and behavioral phenomena in—and clinical trials for—Parkinson’s disease as well as in the understanding and management of functional movement disorders. He currently serves the International Parkinson and Movement Disorders Society as chair of the Task Force on Technology and Secretary of its Pan-American Section.

Dawn Skirpan

Program Director

Dawn Skirpan graduated from California University of Pennsylvania with a Master’s Degree in Counseling. She has worked in the clinical research field for over 12 years, during this time she has worked in neurology, women’s health, pulmonology, gastroenterology and neurosurgery.  A lifelong Pittsburgh resident, she moved to Cincinnati to work with Dr. Espay on the CCBP program.  She works with both internal and external collaborators on the study and oversees the day to day operations.

Luca Marsili

Adjunct Instructor

Luca Marsili graduated in Medicine and did his residency in Neurology at “Sapienza” University of Rome, Italy, where he achieved also his Ph.D. in neurosciences. He currently works as an Adjunct Instructor of Neurology at the University of Cincinnati (OH). His research activity is related to neurodegenerative diseases, included but not limited to Parkinson’s disease, atypical parkinsonian syndromes, and other movement disorders with a particular interest in the clinical, genetic, and pathophysiological underpinnings of these conditions.

Andrea Sturchio

MD, Adjunct Instructor

Andrea Sturchio graduated in Medicine at the University of Florence, Italy, and completed his residency in Neurology at the University of Pavia, Italy. He is currently a Research Instructor of Neurology at the University of Cincinnati (OH). His research activities are related to clinical and biological markers of neurodegenerative diseases, particularly Parkinson’s disease. He is the CCBP’s liaison with the Biomolecular Medicine laboratory at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, helping with the animal experiments that will provide feasibility, safety, and efficacy data on translating the promise of soluble brain proteins replacement for patients with Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.

Kevin Duque

MD, Clinical Research

Kevin Duque is a physician graduated from the Universidad Cayetano Heredia (Perú) in 2015. He currently works as a Clinical Research Fellow in Movement Disorders, and as a Research Physician for the CCBP Study, both at the University of Cincinnati. His experience ranges from participating in medical education to designing and conducting research studies in many branches of Neurology including Sleep Medicine, Epilepsy and Neuro-Infectious Diseases. He is interested in the genetic and molecular basis of neurodegenerative diseases and therapies that might decelerate disease progression.  

Jesús Abanto

MD, Clinical Research Fellow

Jesús Abanto is a physician that graduated from Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia in Lima, Perú. Since his early years in medical school he has always been fascinated by technology, research and neuroscience. His areas of expertise are epidemiology and clinical research. He currently works as a Clinical Research Fellow for Movement Disorders in the Department of Neurology of the University of Cincinnati.

Fátima Páriona-Vargas

MD, Research Scholar

Fátima Páriona-Vargas is a physician who graduated in 2017 from the National University of Cajamarca, College of Medicine, in Perú. She is currently a Research Scholar for the Movement Disorders in the Neurology Department at the University of Cincinnati. Her research background is focused on neuroprotective therapy for stroke, early management of stroke, and the mechanisms of stroke-induced brain injury. She is inquisitive in comprehending risk/protective factors in age-related neurodegenerative disorders and stroke.

Cynthia Spikes

Senior Clinical Research Professional

Cynthia Spikes has been involved in research as a coordinator for over 18 years. She joined the CCBP team in July of 2019. The knowledge she has gained working with this population has been amazing! Working with Dr. Espay and the CCBP team is encouraging and heartfelt to many of the study participants we are enrolling into the study.  She looks forward to great strides being made through the collection of the biomarkers our research study is capturing.      

Shea Stivers

Clinical Research Professional

Shea has been a part of the CCBP research team for almost 2 years now. She is currently finishing up her degree in Psychology at the University of Cincinnati and hopes to continue to learn more and help others with her work in Research and Neurodegenerative Diseases.   

Nathan Gregor

Clinical Research Professional


Aaron Bloemer

Clinical Research Professional

Aaron graduated from Mount St. Joseph University with a degree in Health & Wellness. Aaron is employed by the University of Cincinnati as Clinical Research Professional in the Department of Neurology, Division of Movement Disorders. He is involved in recruiting patients from clinic to enroll in the CCBP study and is interested in genetic, pathophysiologic, and alternative medicine for the decelerating of disease progression in neurodegenerative diseases.  

Rachel Bode

Research Assistant

Rachel graduated with her B.S. in Psychology from the University of Cincinnati in August 2021 and joined the CCBP team as a Research Assistant soon after. Her main research interests include neurodegenerative diseases, recovery from traumatic brain injury, and neuroplasticity. She plans to become a clinical psychologist in the future.   

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