Nikolaus McFarland, M.D., Ph.D.

Nikolaus R. McFarland, MD, PhD, FAAN

Associate Professor of Neurology

Wright/Falls/Simmons Professor of PSP/Atypical Parkinsonism

Division Chief, Movement Disorders & Neurodegeneration

UF College of Medicine

Phone: (352) 294-5400

Fax: (352) 627-4925

Center for Translational Research in Neurodegenerative Diseases
Center for Movement Disorders and Neurorestoration


Dr. McFarland holds The Wright/Falls/Simmons Professorship in PSP/Atypical Parkinson’s. Nikolaus McFarland, M.D., Ph.D. joined the UF Department of Neurology (and Neuroscience) and the Center for Movement Disorders and Neurorestoration in 2010 (recently renamed, the Norman Fixel Institute for Neurological Diseases). He is also a member of the Center for Translational Research in Neurodegenerative Disease (CTRND) that aims to bring the bench closer to the bedside. He is a fellowship trained movement disorders neurologist.

He graduated from the University of Chicago in 1992 with honors in Biology and election into the Sigma Xi research society. He completed medical and graduate training in the MD/PhD program at the University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry, where he received a merit award for outstanding graduate research in thalamic and basal ganglia anatomy. Afterwards he went to the University of Virginia for internship and residency training in neurology, and then to the Massachusetts General Hospital to pursue fellowship training in Movement Disorders and research in Parkinson disease and related disorders at the MassGeneral Institute for Neurodegenerative Disease (MIND). As a Udall Fellow he became the first recipient of the Robert Koch Parkinson Disease research fellowship. He has received support for his research from the NIH-NINDS and foundations including the American Parkinson Disease Association and Michael J. Fox Foundation.



1992 B.A. Biology, University of Chicago

2001 Ph.D. Neurobiology & Anatomy, University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry

2002 M.D. Medicine, University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry

2006 Internship and Neurology Residency, University of Virginia Health System

2008 Movement Disorders Fellowship, Massachusetts General Hospital


Research Interests

His research focuses on understanding the pathological mechanisms of Parkinson disease and related disorders, and in particular the role of alpha-synuclein in cell toxicity and neurodegeneration. His current studies utilize both cellular and preclinical models to study genes and molecules that may enhance or ameliorate alpha-synuclein or tau protein pathology. A primary goal of his research is to identify and to develop potential novel therapeutics for Parkinson disease and related disorders.

In addition, Dr. McFarland has strong clinical interests in Parkinson disease and Atypical Parkinsonisms (Parkinson-plus syndromes), including Progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), Multiple system atrophy (MSA), Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), and Corticobasal degeneration (CBD). He is spearheading, along with Drs. Chris Hass and David Vaillancourt in Applied Physiology and Kinesiology, the development of an exciting multidisciplinary clinical-research program for PSP and atypical Parkinson’s disease through the support of the Allens and several other afflicted families. He also Directs the UF Huntington Disease Society of America (HDSA) Center of Excellence, a multidisciplinary clinic and research program for patients and families with Huntington disease.



Board Certified in Neurology in 2007


Honors and Awards

  • Sigma Xi Research Society
  • Udall Fellowship in Movement Disorders
  • Robert N. Koch Jr. Fellowship in Parkinson Disease Research
  • America’s Top Physicians
  • UF Excellence Award for Assistant Professors
  • Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology


Research Publications

PubMed link (MyCitations)