Finding volunteers is one of the biggest barriers to the success of clinical studies. As part of The Michael J. Fox Foundation’s (MJFF) recognition of Black History Month, a researcher and participant discuss the unique challenge of engaging underserved populations in Parkinson’s studies. 

Michael S. Fitts serves as assistant dean for user access and diversity at The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB Libraries). He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease (PD) in 2011 at age 38. He led the discussion with Jonathan Jackson, PhD, who is the principal investigator of the Fostering Inclusivity in Research Engagement for Underrepresented Populations in Parkinson’s Disease (FIRE-UP PD), a study funded by MJFF to engage people of diverse backgrounds in research. Michael is also a member of MJFF’s Patient Council and the FIRE-UP PD Steering Committee.

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