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

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.

M. Barbara Grimberg

Clinical Research

M. Barbara Grimberg graduated as a physician in 2015 from the University of Buenos Aires, College of Medicine, in Argentina. She currently works as a Research Physician for Movement Disorders in the Neurology Department at the University of Cincinnati in Ohio, and for the CCBP study. Her research activity is based mainly on neurodegenerative diseases and their clinical, genetic, and pathophysiological relations targeted at modifying the treatment approach for these diseases and their comorbidities.

Deepa Agrawal Bajaj

Clinical Research Professional, B.Sc

Employed as a Clinical Research Professional at the University of Cincinnati (UC), in the College of Medicine, Department of Neurology, Division of Movement Disorders, Deepa coordinates, schedules, conducts study visits, and interacts with various participants to collect research and data for Parkinson’s Disease.  Deepa obtained a Clinical Research Professional role prior to working at UC, working with a group of Audiologists on multiple studies where she was responsible for coordinating, scheduling, and conducting hearing testing for study visits for inpatients with Cystic Fibrosis. 

Benjamin Stecher

Patient Advocate and Consultant

Benjamin was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease at 29. Now 35, he speaks and consults regularly at academic centers, biotech and pharma companies on issues related to degenerative brain diseases and patient-driven research advocacy. He is also the founder of Tomorrow Edition (, and a patient advisor to several organizations including the Toronto Western Hospital Movement Disorder Clinic. He has also authored several peer-review papers and serves on the editorial board for the Journal of Parkinson’s.

Kevin Duque

Clinical Researcher

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.  

Hussein Elhusseini Abdelghany

Clinical Researcher

Hussein Elhusseini Abdelghany graduated from College of Medicine, Benha University, Egypt. He currently works in clinical research in Neurology and movement disorders in the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. His work is focused on neurodegenerative diseases, movement disorders and incorporating modern technology into clinical practice.

Cynthia Spikes

Clinical Research Professional

Cynthia Spikes has been involved in research as a coordinator for over 18 years. She joined the University of Cincinnati department of Neurology, division of Movement Disorders (Parkinson disease) 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.      

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