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James P. Bennet Jr.

James P. Bennett Jr.

Director, VCU Parkinson’s Disease Center, and Bemiss Professor, VCU Department of Neurology


Clinical Office - (804) 364-6519
VCU Health: NOW Center
11958 W. Broad Street
Henrico, Virginia 23233

Academic Office
Kontos MSB Room 230A
1217 East Marshall Street
Richmond Virginia, 23298

“The center has a unique group of clinicians, clinical investigators and scientists, all cohabitating in the same space and talking to each other. With the state-of-the-art translational research, we’re working on developing therapies that we hope will slow down or stop Parkinson’s disease.”


  • Chief Resident in Neurology, University of Virginia School of Medicine
  • Resident in Neurology, University of Virginia School of Medicine
  • Intern and Resident, Department of Medicine, Greater Baltimore Medical Center
  • NIH Postdoctoral Fellowship, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
  • National Institutes of Health Predoctoral Fellowship and Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
  • M.D., Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
  • B.S., Chemistry with Honors, University of Florida

Professional certifications and licenses

  • Virginia state medical license
  • American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology


  • Focuses on translational research, specifically in the area of molecular neurobiology of adult neurodegenerative diseases and developing new therapies to alter the degenerative processes.
  • Clinical focus has been on Parkinson's disease,
  • Lab efforts have involved studying cell models and postmortem tissues of ALS (Lou Gherig's disease), Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease; developed and placed into clinical testing a novel neuroprotective drug and participate in the development of novel mitochondrial gene therapies

Professional affiliations

  • Ad hoc reviewer for multiple NIH study panels
  • American Parkinson Disease Association, Scientific Advisory Board, Member

Recent achievements

  • Appointed Bemiss Professor of Neurology, VCU
  • Director, "Center for the Study of Neurodegenerative Diseases", NIH-NINDS Program Project NS30024 (1990-1993); NIA Program Project AG14373 (1998-2001); Morris Udall Parkinson’s Research Center of Excellence (1999-2013)
  • Ad Hoc Reviewer for multiple NIH Study Sections (1984-present)

Recent publications

  • Morgan JC, Currie LJ, Harrison MB, Bennett JP Jr, Trugman JM, Wooten GF (2014) Mortality in levodopa-treated Parkinson's disease. Parkinson's disease 2014: 426976.
  • Rice AC, Keeney PM, Algarzae NK, Ladd AC, Thomas RR, Benett JP Jr (2014) Mitochondrial DNA copy numbers in pyramidal neurons are decreased and mitochondrial biogenesis transcriptome signaling is disrupted in Alzheimer's disease hippocampi. J. Alzheimer's Dis. 2014;40(2):319-30. doi: 10.3233/JAD-131715.
  • Cronin-Furman EN, Borland MK, Bergquist KE, Bennett JP Jr, Trimmer PA (2013) Mitochondrial quality, dynamics and functional capacity in Parkinson's disease cybrid cell lines selected for Lewy body expression. Mol Neurodegener. Jan 26;8:6. doi: 10.1186/1750-1326-8-6.
  • Thomas RR, Khan SM, Smigrodzki RM, Onyango IG, Dennis J, Khan OM, Portelli FR, Bennett JP Jr. (2012) RhTFAM treatment stimulates mitochondrial oxidative metabolism and improves memory in aged mice. Aging (Albany NY). 2012 Sep;4(9):620-35.
  • Thomas RR, Keeney PM, Bennett JP, Jr. (2012). Impaired Complex-I Mitochondrial Biogenesis in Parkinson Disease Frontal Cortex. Journal of Parkinson’s Disease 2: 67–76 DOI 10.3233/JPD-2012-11074.


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