Edward A. Burton, MD, DPhil, FRCP

  • Associate Professor of Neurology
  • Associate Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics
  • UPMC Endowed Chair in Movement Disorders

Dr. Burton trained in general medicine and neurology at the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, UK and in movement disorders at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queen Square, London. He is principal investigator of a research group in the Pittsburgh Institute for Neurodegenerative diseases, and divides his time between researching the molecular mechanisms underlying Parkinson’s disease and progressive supranuclear palsy, delivering clinical care to movement disorders patients at UPMC and Pittsburgh VA, and teaching neurology to medical students at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Education & Training

  • BSc, University of Birmingham (UK), Physiology
  • MB, ChB, University of Birmingham (UK), Medicine and Surgery
  • DPhil, University of Oxford (UK), Molecular Biology
  • MD, University of Birmingham (UK), Neuroscience
  • FRCP, Royal College of Physicians of London (UK)

Specialized Areas of Clinical, Research and/or Educational Interests 

  • Research: Research on the molecular mechanisms underlying Parkinson's disease and progressive supranuclear palsy; the development of new treatments
  • Clinical: Parkinson’s disease; progressive supranuclear palsy, dystonia, tremor
  • Education: Neurology

Board Certifications

  • Certificate of Completion of Specialty Training in Neurology (Joint Commission for Higher Specialist Training, UK) 
  • Specialist Register of the General Medical Council UK 
  • Unrestricted Licensure as Medical Physician, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

Professional Organization Membership

  • Society for Neuroscience
  • American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • Movement Disorders Society
  • Association of British Neurologists

Honors & Awards

  • Editorial Board Member - Journal of Biological Chemistry
  • Scientific Advisory Board - CurePSP
  • Chair - Parkinson Study Group, Symposia Committee 
  • Fellow - American Neurological Association 
  • Standing Member - NURE Review Panel
  • UPMC Neurology Residents' Clinical Teaching Award 2020
  • US Department of Veterans Affairs Clinican Scientist Investigator Award 2020

Selected Publications

Ilin, V.A., Bai, Q., Watson, A.M., Volgushev, M., and Burton, E.A. (2021). Mechanism of pacemaker activity in zebrafish DC2/4 dopaminergic neurons. The Journal of Neuroscience 41, 4141-4157.

Van Laar, V.S., Chen, J., Zharikov, A.D., Bai, Q., Di Maio, R., Dukes, A.A., Hastings, T.G., Watkins, S.C., Greenamyre, J.T., St Croix, C.M., and Burton, E.A. (2020). α-Synuclein amplifies cytoplasmic peroxide flux and oxidative stress provoked by mitochondrial inhibitors in CNS dopaminergic neurons in vivo. Redox Biol 37, 101695.

Xie, W., Jiao, B., Bai, Q., Ilin, V.A., Sun, M., Burton, C.E., Kolodieznyi, D., Calderon, M.J., Stolz, D.B., Opresko, P.L., St Croix, C.M., Watkins, S., Van Houten, B., Bruchez, M.P., and Burton, E.A. (2020). Chemoptogenetic ablation of neuronal mitochondria in vivo with spatiotemporal precision and controllable severity. eLife 9, e51845.

Zharikov, A., Bai, Q., De Miranda, B.R., Van Laar, A., Greenamyre, J.T., and Burton, E.A. (2019). Long-term RNAi knockdown of alpha-synuclein in the adult rat substantia nigra without neurodegeneration. Neurobiol Dis 125, 146-153.

Scheetz, S.D., Shao, E., Zhou, Y., Cario, C.L., Bai, Q., and Burton, E.A. (2018). An open-source method to analyze optokinetic reflex responses in larval zebrafish. J Neurosci Methods 293, 329-337.

Dukes, A.A., Bai, Q., Van Laar, V.S., Zhou, Y., Ilin, V., David, C.N., Agim, Z.S., Bonkowsky, J.L., Cannon, J.R., Watkins, S.C., Croix, C.M., Burton, E.A., and Berman, S.B. (2016). Live imaging of mitochondrial dynamics in CNS dopaminergic neurons in vivo demonstrates early reversal of mitochondrial transport following MPP(+) exposure. Neurobiol Dis 95, 238-249.

Zharikov, A.D., Cannon, J.R., Tapias, V., Bai, Q., Horowitz, M.P., Shah, V., El Ayadi, A., Hastings, T.G., Greenamyre, J.T., and Burton, E.A. (2015). shRNA targeting alpha-synuclein prevents neurodegeneration in a Parkinson's disease model. J Clin Invest 125, 2721-2735.