Ira Shoulson

Director, Program for Regulatory Science & Medicine, Georgetown University

Ira Shoulson, MD is Director of the Program for Regulatory Science and Medicine at Georgetown University. Dr. Shoulson founded the Parkinson Study Group and the Huntington Study Group — international academic consortia devoted to research and development of treatments for Parkinson disease, Huntington disease. He was a key investigator in the US-Venezuela Collaborative Huntington Disease Project, which identified the gene responsible for Huntington Disease. He played an instrumental role in the development of 10 new drugs for neurological disorders, including seven for Parkinson disease, two for Huntington disease and one for attention deficit disorder. He was formerly a health policy fellow in the US Senate, president of the American Society for Experimental NeuroTherapeutics, and associate editor of JAMA Neurology. In 2016, he was recipient of the Michael J. Fox Foundation Pritzker Prize, in recognition of his leadership in research and education for Parkinson disease. Dr. Shoulson is principal investigator of the FDA-Georgetown University Collaborating Center of Excellence in Regulatory Science and Innovation, and an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.

TRNDS Speaker Spotlight

Why are you participating in TRNDS 2017?
I love the mix of health technology innovators, clinical researchers, trainees, regulatory scientists, and especially the engagement by patients and patient advocates. It’s a brew geared to solve problems that are many among those affected by rare neurological disorders.


What do you see as the biggest opportunities to accelerate rare disease therapeutic development?
The interface of technology, translational clinical research, and patient-centered outcomes and preferences, represents a powerful catalyst for developing medical products to address the unmet needs of this collectively large but underserved constellation of diseases.


What are the top 3 priorities for rare disease research in the 21st century?
The top 3 priorities for rare disease research in the 21st century encompass:

  1. innovative clinical research approaches,
  2. clinically meaningful technologies, and
  3. our abiding attention to patient problems and their functional consequences.


Tell us about PRSM’s efforts to inform public policy and foster innovation in therapeutic development.
The Program in Regulatory Science and Medicine (PRSM) at Georgetown University is dedicated to research and education aimed at informing decision making about the next generation of medical products, and in turn relieving the burden of disease and improving public health.