Michael Okun, M.D.
Adelaide Lackner Professor and Chair of Neurology
Email Dr. Okun
UF Center for Movement
Disorders & Neurorestoration
3450 Hull Road
Gainesville, FL 32607
Department of Neurology
University of Florida College of Medicine
HSC Box 100236
Gainesville, FL 32610-0236
Michael S. Okun, MD, is currently the Executive Director of the Fixel Institute for Neurological Diseases which is part of the neuromedicine community including the Center for Translational Research in Neurodegenerative Diseases, the McKnight Brain Institute, the Center for Neurogenetics and the University of Florida College of Medicine. The Institute is unique in that it is comprised of over 90 interdisciplinary faculty members from diverse areas of campus, all of whom are dedicated to care, outreach, education and research. Dr. Okun has been dedicated to this interdisciplinary care concept, and since his appointment as the National Medical Director for the Parkinson’s Foundation in 2006, he has worked with over 40 international PF centers of excellence to help foster the best possible environments for care, research and outreach in Parkinson disease, dystonia, Tourette, and movement disorders.
Dr. Okun was one of the driving forces behind the creation of the Center for Movement Disorders and Neurorestoration and now the Fixel Institute and its completely patient-centric approach to care. The model of care and research has been recently published in JAMA Neurology (2018). He and his wife support many charities and he is currently the Medical Advisor for Tyler’s Hope for a Dystonia Cure, and also the immediate past Co-Medical Director for the Tourette Syndrome Association (TSA) Medical Advisory Board.
Dr. Okun has been supported by grants from the Parkinson’s Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Tourette Association of America, the Parkinson Alliance, and the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Disease Research, and he currently runs the online international “Ask The Expert” forums, on the National Parkinson Foundation website. The forum is a free service that answers questions from every continent (except Antarctica) and has over 10,000 postings in the last 3 years.
Dr. Okun has dedicated much of his career to the development of care centers for people suffering with movement disorders, but has also has enjoyed a prolific research career exploring non-motor basal ganglia brain features and he has participated in pioneering studies exploring the cognitive, behavioral, and mood effects of deep brain stimulation (DBS). He holds two NIH grants exploring various aspects of neuromodulation therapy. Dr. Okun holds the Adelaide Lackner Professorship in Neurology, has published over 400 peer-reviewed articles (H Index 70), is a published poet (Lessons From the Bedside, 1995), and has served as a reviewer for more than 25 major medical journals including JAMA and the New England Journal of Medicine. His book Parkinson’s Treatment: 10 Secrets to a Happier Life was translated into over 20 languages. He has been invited to speak about Parkinson disease and movement disorders all over the world and was honored as a champion of change at the White House during the Obama administration.
Michael S. Okun, MD, received his B.A. in History from Florida State University, and his M.D. from the University of Florida where he graduated with Honors. Dr. Okun completed an internship and Neurology residency at the University of Florida. Following residency he was trained at Emory University, one of the world’s leading centers for movement disorders research, in both general movement disorders and in microelectrode recording/surgical treatments.
Board Certified in Neurology 2001, and Recertified in 2011.
Honors and Awards
- Phi Beta Kappa
- Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society
- Voted Best Doctor’s in America
- Lawrence McHenry Award, American Academy of Neurology
- Distinguished Alumni in Health, Palm Beach County Educational Foundation