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Mark Hirsch

Mark A. Hirsch, PhDMark A. Hirsch, PhD
Research Scientist
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Faculty Associate, Department of Communications Studies, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Adjunct Research Assistant Professor, School of Medicine, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Faculty Affiliate, Center for Biomedical Engineering System, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Public Health Sciences, College of Health and Human Services, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Prior Positions and Experience

2005 NIH Grant Preparation Workshop for Rehabilitation Research [Enhancing Rehabilitation Research in the South (ERRIS)], University of Virginia (Charlottesville, VA)
2001-2002 Postdoctoral Training in Neurology, Heinrich-Heine University, School of Medicine, Department of Neurology (Düsseldorf, Germany)
1999-2004 Assistant Professor, part time, Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (Baltimore, MD)
1996-1999 NIH T32 Neurorehabilitation Research Postdoctoral Fellow, Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (Baltimore, MD)


PhD: 1996, Florida State University
Graduate Certificate of Studies in Gerontology: 1994, Pepper Institute of Aging and Public Policy, Florida State University
MA: 1989, University of South Florida (Tampa)
BSE: 1987, SUNY, College at Cortland

Research Interests

Dr. Mark A. Hirsch is a Research Scientist in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Carolinas Rehabilitation, Carolinas HealthCare System. He obtained his PhD degree (1996) based on a thesis titled: "Activity-dependent enhancement of balance in Parkinson's disease" at Florida State University, Tallahassee. Between 1996 and 1999, he received training as a neurorehabilitation scientist during a National Institutes of Health T32 fellowship at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation with Barbara deLateur, MD. Dr. Hirsch gained an international reputation in motor rehabilitation and movement disorders during Associateship training with Harald Hefter, MD, PhD at Department of Neurology, Dusseldorf University, Germany. In 2004, he joined the Carolinas Rehabilitation Faculty. Together with Carolinas HealthCare System Neurosciences, Carolinas Rehabilitation, LiveWELL Health Center and local branches of the YMCA of Greater Charlotte, he developed RENEW Carolinas Parkinson Initiative (Research and Education in NEuro-Wellness) which in 2011, received funding from the Park Foundation.  Dr. Hirsch is the past Chair of the Parkinson Association of the Carolinas and serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Parkinsonism and Related Disorders and Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation.  His main research interests focus on participatory medicine and social capital, with emphasis on Parkinson’s disease. Various projects examine patients-as-partners, the experiences of individuals with Parkinson’s disease during exercise, and the implementation and evaluation of complex interventions. Additional projects focus on motor coordination and evaluation of early features of movement disorders on gait, balance and falls.  Dr. Hirsch has published over 50 scientific papers, book chapters and abstracts.

Publications of Importance to the Field

Hirsch MA, Simpson A. Why bother with shared decision-making in Parkinson’s disease? Parkinsonism Relat Disord. 2013 Jul 24. [PMID: 23891344]

Hirsch MA, Sanjak M, Englert D, Iyer S, Quinlan M.  Parkinson patients as partners in care.  Parkinsonism Relat Disord. (in press).

Hirsch MA, Iyer S, Englert D, Sanjak M.  Promoting community-based participatory research exercise programs in Parkinson’s disease.  Neurodegenerative Disease Management. 2011;1(5):365-377. [PMID: 22545069]

Hirsch MA, Farley BG. Exercise and neuroplasticity in persons living with Parkinson’s disease. European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine. 2009 Jun;45(2):215-29. [PMID: 19532109]

Grant Support

Grant Title: Falls prevention technology research and development project
Funding Agency: Carolinas HealthCare Foundation                                                
Role: Co-investigator
Years: 2012-2017

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