Lab Faculty Collaborators

Carma Bylund, PhD

Carma Bylund

Dr. Bylund is Professor in Health Outcomes and Biomedical Informatics in the University of Florida’s College of Medicine and member of the UF Health Cancer Center. Dr. Bylund is a behavioral scientist with international expertise in healthcare communication in dementia care and cancer communication. Her research focuses on developing, implementing, and testing interventions to help clinicians, patients, and caregivers communicate effectively. Her research collaborations have resulted in more than $12 million in funding and 135 peer-reviewed papers. She is Editor-in-Chief of PEC Innovation and Associate Editor of Patient Education and Counseling.

Nikolaus R. McFarland, MD, PhD, FAAN

Dr. McFarland is an Associate Professor of Neurology and current Division Chief of Movement Disorders at the University of Florida, College of Medicine. He holds The Wright/Falls/Simmons Professorship in PSP/Atypical Parkinson’s. He joined the UF Department of Neurology and the Center for Movement Disorders & 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 completed his medical and graduate training at the University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry and neurology residency at the University of Virginia. At the Massachusetts General Hospital he pursued fellowship training in Movement Disorders and research in Parkinson disease and related disorders, and served as an Instructor at MGH/Harvard. He has received support from the NIH-NINDS, American Parkinson Disease Association, Parkinson Foundation, and Michael J. Fox Foundation. Dr. McFarland directs a comprehensive multidisciplinary clinical-research program for Atypical Parkinson disorders including dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), multiple system atrophy (MSA), progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) and corticobasal syndrome. He is actively involved in multiple clinical trials for Parkinson disease, Atypical Parkinsonism’s, and Huntington disease. He is also Director of the UF Huntington Disease Society of America (HDSA) Center of Excellence, CurePSP Center of Care, and the Fixel Institute Biomarker laboratory.

Bhavana Patel, DO, MS


Dr. Bhavana Patel, DO, MS is currently an assistant professor in the Division of Movement disorders and Behavioral Neurology at the University of Florida. She joined the UF Department of Neurology and the Fixel Institute in 2019.

Dr. Patel graduated from Butler University in 2008 with a double major in chemistry and Spanish, followed by a Master’s degree in Biology at Purdue University in Indianapolis. She completed medical school at the West Virginia School of Osteopathic medicine in 2013, followed by a preliminary internal medicine year and neurology residency at University of Kansas in 2017. During her residency she received awards for her residency research projects and was recognized by the medical student body for her excellence in teaching. In her final year of training she served as Chief Resident.

Upon completion of her neurology training she pursued a two year fellowship in Movement Disorders and additional training in cognitive disorders and dementias at UF from 2017-2019. She has a personal connection to Dementia with Lewy Bodies and during her training she completed additional clinical and research training in Lewy Body disease under the mentorship of Dr. Melissa Armstrong. In 2018 she was the inaugural recipient of the Clinical Research Training Scholarship in Dementia with Lewy Bodies from the American Brain Foundation and the Mary E. Groff Charitable trust, in collaboration with the American Academy of Neurology.

Dr. Patel’s research interests include Lewy body dementia, neurostimulation for movement and cognitive disorders, along with a strong interest in improving the delivery of healthcare to patients with Lewy body disease. She serves as a co-investigator in several projects related to Parkinson disease aiming to improve quality of life. Currently her NIH funded research focuses on improving access to specialty care to patients with Lewy body disease using telemedicine.

She has presented her research at multiple international conferences including an International Lewy Body Dementia Conference, International Congress of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorder Society, Academy of Neurology, and the 5th World Parkinson Congress. She has presented an education session about Lewy body disease at the annual statewide Florida Neurological Society meeting. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Florida Society of Neurology.

Glenn Smith, PhD, ABPP

Glenn Smith

Dr. Glenn E. Smith is a Professor in the Department of Clinical and Health Psychology at the University of Florida. He served as department chair from 2015-2021. He is Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine. A board-certified neuropsychologist, Dr. Smith has been a practicing clinician for over 30 years and has authored or co-authored almost 250 original articles, 14 book chapters, and 2 books on the neuropsychology of cognitive aging and dementia.

Dr. Smith’s research focuses on the early detection of neurodegenerative diseases. He has been studying mild cognitive impairment for 25+ years.  He also studies methods to prevent or delay the development of dementia, especially behavioral interventions intended to enhance resilience, reserve, or to mitigate neurodegenerative disease. Dr. Smith provides neuropsychological evaluations particularly for oIder adults. He also is developer and a leader of the HABIT® Healthy Action to Benefit Independence and Thinking program. HABIT® and variations of this program are an intensive behavioral intervention for persons with Mild Cognitive Impairment and their care partners.

Tracy Tholanikunnel, MD


Dr. Tracy Tholanikunnel graduated from College of Charleston in 2010 with a major in Molecular Biology and a minor in Chemistry. She graduated medical school at the Medical University of South Carolina. Following medical school, she completed her neurology residency at Medical College of Wisconsin. Dr. Tholanikunnel then completed her fellowship in Movement Disorders at University of Florida where she was the Parkinson Foundation Institutional Fellow. She was also the recipient of the Mangurian Fixel McKnight Collaboration for Pilot Studies in Lewy Body Dementias. Dr. Tholanikunnel’s research focuses on gaining a better understanding of cognitive fluctuations in people with Parkinson Disease and Dementia with Lewy Body.