The UBNS Movement Disorders team, led by Dr. Robert J. Plunkett, was established in 1997 and is a highly experienced clinical team in upstate New York. The team consists of individuals all expertly trained to treat movement disorders using the most current medical and surgical treatments and procedures available.
Jonathan P. Riley, MD
University at Buffalo Neurosurgery
State University of New York at Buffalo
Medical Director, Functional Neurosurgery
Dr. Riley, a graduate of Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine, completed his neurosurgical residency training at Emory University. While there, he completed an enfolded fellowship experience in epilepsy and stereotactic & functional neurosurgery under the mentorship of Drs. Robert Gross, Nicholas Boulis, and Jon T. Willie. He then went on to complete a post-graduate fellowship in the same at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital with a continued exposure to emerging techniques and newly developed neuromodulation-based technologies. Mentorship through this fellowship training was under the guidance of Drs. Ashwini Sharan and Chengyuan Wu. Dr. Riley placed emphasis on this subspecialized training to be best positioned to provide a full range of surgical treatment options to patients with afflictions affecting the function of the central nervous system. These include the broad spectrum of Movement Disorders, Epilepsies, pain syndromes, and emerging psychiatric indications.
Throughout medical school and residency, Dr. Riley has meaningfully and longitudinally participated in translational and clinical research agendas under the mentorship of Nicholas Boulis, MD. These have included both small and large animal work and have focused on the clinical translation of biologics-based therapeutics with an emphasis on development of approaches to therapeutics delivery to the central nervous system. This has provided a background in all aspects of translation from large animal work through clinical trial completion. Active research interests include the use of small animal epilepsy models to develop and optimize neuromodulation-based candidate therapies for the treatment of medically refractory epilepsy.
Kelly Andrzejewski, DO, PhD
Professor of Neurology
State University of New York at Buffalo
Dr. Andrzejewski is a neurologist with special training in the treatment of movement disorders. In an outpatient setting, she cares for patients with Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease (HD), generalized and focal dystonia, essential tremor, Tourette’s syndrome, tardive dyskinesia and other movement disorders. She performs botulinum toxin injections for dystonia, blepharospasm and qsialorrhea and also cares for patients with neurological disorders when they have been admitted to Buffalo General Medical Center (BGMC).
Dr. Andrzejewski is the lead neurologist of the deep brain stimulation (DBS) program at the University at Buffalo. She evaluates patients to determine if DBS surgery will help alleviate their neurological symptoms; if it will, she performs intraoperative electrophysiology monitoring during DBS lead placement. Dr. Andrzejewski also programs patients’ neurostimulator system following DBS surgery and collaborates closely with the neurosurgical team from UB Neurosurgery and the DBS team to provide an integrated treatment plan for each of her patients.
Dr. Andrzejewski created a comprehensive Huntington’s Disease (HD) clinic here in Western New York, at the University at Buffalo. HD is a dominantly inherited genetic disease: each child of a parent with HD has a 50 percent chance of inheriting the disease from their affected parent. At the HD clinic, she ensures her patients receive a team- and family-centered approach to their care—i.e., in addition to the medical care patients receive from her, they and their families receive support from a social worker and a genetic counselor. We also offer counseling and genetic testing for individuals that are at risk of having HD. To set up an appointment in the University at Buffalo Huntington’s Disease Clinic or learn more information about predictive testing for individuals at risk for HD please contact our scheduler at 716.932.6080, ext. 105.
Dr. Andrzejewski’s research is focused on the role of the cannabinoid system in HD, and she has collaborated with basic science colleagues to provide a translational approach in this area of research. Her research efforts also include a study determining the reliability of Parkinson’s disease rating scales assessments performed remotely via virtual telemedicine visits compared to in-person assessments completed as part of an active clinical trial.
Dr. Andrzejewski also teaches residents and medical students in clinic and on the general neurology service at BGMC.
Rachel Shepherd, MA, RN, BSN
Clinical Research Coordinator, Neurology
Rachel Shepherd is a registered nurse and research coordinator in the Department of Neurology at the University at Buffalo. Rachel began her career with the University’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology in 2014 before joining the Department of Neurology in 2017. Since then she has enjoyed focusing on working with patients diagnosed with neurodegenerative disorders and dementia. She is trained in Deep Brain Stimulation programming of patients with Parkinson’s disease, Essential tremor, and Dystonia and also management of patients receiving Duopa therapy. Rachel also serves as the clinical research coordinator for Movement Disorder clinical trials in the Department of Neurology.
Rachel is a native of Buffalo, NY and earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from the University at Buffalo in 2004, a Master of Arts degree in Psychology from Long Island University in 2007, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from the University at Buffalo in 2014.
Pat Weigel, RN, BSN, RNFA
Clinical Nurse Coordinator, DBS Program
Patricia Weigel is a graduate of Roberts Wesleyan College and brings considerable experience to her job as clinical nurse coordinator. She has advanced training and several years experience in patient education and in the management of deep brain stimulation programs. Patricia is also CEO and co-leader of the Parkinson’s Wellness Group of Western New York, the director of the annual Parkinson’s disease education symposium, and co-leader of the “Powerful Tools for Caregiver” classes.
Pat has recently completed interdisciplinary allied team training for Parkinson’s disease with the National Parkinson’s Foundation. She also acts as an RN surgical first assistant in the operating room, and is a member of the local and national Neuroscience Nurses Association. Currently, she is co-investigator for two ongoing studies on new medications for Parkinson’s disease.
“When you care about someone with Parkinson’s disease, you get to know patients and their families on a personal level. I feel part of a team that truly cares about each patient and makes a real difference in people’s lives. Nothing compares to that satisfaction.”