UTMOVE Team

Mya Schiess, MD

Dr. Schiess is a Professor in the Department of Neurology at UTHealth McGovern Medical School and Movement Disorders specialist with decades of experience. She holds the Adriana Blood Distinguished Chair in Neurology. She is the creator and Director of the UTHealth Movement Disorders Clinic and Program Director of the Movement Disorders Fellowship Training Program. Over the past 20 years, she has led multiple observational and interventional trials for Parkinson’s disease, atypical Parkinsonism, and REM Sleep Behavior Disorder (RBD). During this time, her research has been done through collaboration with different departments at UTHealth and other health institutes at a national and international level. Dr. Schiess leads a large investigator-initiated prospective longitudinal biomarker study looking at REM Sleep Behavior Disorder (RBD) as a prodromal condition for Parkinsonism. She holds the first FDA Investigational New Drug approval for mesenchymal stem cells as a disease-modifying therapy for idiopathic Parkinson’s disease. She co-developed the first FDA approved study of fecal microbiota transplantation as a therapy for Parkinson’s disease. Dr. Schiess is the author/co-author of more than 60 peer-reviewed publications. She co-developed the new guidelines for earlier DBS intervention in PD.

INVESTIGATING STEM CELLS TO HELP SLOW THE PROGRESSION OF PARKINSON’S DISEASE.


Erin Furr Stimming, MD

Dr. Erin Furr Stimming is an Associate Professor in the Department of Neurology at UTHealth McGovern Medical School and Director of the Neurology Clerkship Program. Dr. Erin Furr Stimming is a movement disorder specialist with clinical expertise in evaluating and treating patients with Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, atypical parkinsonian syndromes, dystonia, Essential Tremor, and spasticity. Dr. Furr Stimming has received multiple teaching awards and takes pride in educating future physicians.  Dr. Furr Stimming leads the UTHealth, UTMOVE Huntington’s Disease program, awarded as one of the Huntington’s Disease Society of America (HDSA) Centers of Excellence in the United States and the only one in Texas since 2016, achieving a regional status in 2021 as a recognition for providing excellent and compassionate care to the patients and families living with HD by providing multidisciplinary HD specific care. She has focused her clinical efforts on helping those with this devastating neurological disorder and raising awareness through education. She is the principal investigator for multiple clinical trials for patients with Huntington’s disease, aiming to better understand the disease process and identify potential disease-modifying therapies.

https://abcnews.go.com/US/video/living-huntingtons-disease-71603337


Raja Mehanna, MD

Raja Mehanna, MDDr. Mehanna is an Associate Professor in the Department of Neurology at UTHealth McGovern Medical School, and the Director of the movement disorders’ curriculum for fellows and residents, and the movement disorder fellowship program’s Assistant Director. Dr. Mehanna graduated at the top of his class in medical school. He completed a neurology residency and a movement disorder fellowship at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. Afterwards, he completed another fellowship in movement disorders with an emphasis on Deep Brain Stimulation at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Cleveland, Ohio. He has received numerous teaching and clinical awards and has been invited to talk nationally and internationally. He has authored more than 70 publications.


Shivika Chandra, MD

Dr. Chandra is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurology at UTHealth McGovern Medical School and the Neurology chief at LBJ Hospital/Outpatient Clinics at Harris Health for UTHealth. Dr. Chandra is a board-certified neurologist specialized in movement disorders and neurodegenerative diseases. She completed her neurology residency at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, where she served as the chief resident and subsequently pursued her fellowship training. During her training she was awarded the Frank Yatsu MD. Excellence in Residency award in recognition of outstanding performance in clinical neurology as well as the Senior Resident Teaching Award in recognition of outstanding teaching in clinical neurology. Her research work has been recognized and presented in numerous regional and national meetings.


Swati Pradeep, DO

Dr. Pradeep is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurology at UTHealth McGovern Medical School. She graduated from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2015. In 2019, she completed her residency training in neurology at University of Kentucky and was selected as chief resident. Subsequently, she completed additional fellowship training on movement disorders at The University of Texas Health Science Center at UTHealth in 2020. Her practice provides clinical evaluation and comprehensive care of patients with a wide range of movement disorders. She believes comprehensive education can help empower patients and their families to navigate the challenges that come along with a movement disorder diagnosis. Her motto is “treat people, not diseases.”


Melissa Christie, MD

Dr. Christie is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurology at The University of Texas Health Science at Houston, McGovern Medical School.  She received her medical degree from UTHealth, McGovern Medical School in 2016. She completed residency training in Neurology at McGovern Medical School, where she was chief resident and subsequently pursued and completed her fellowship training on movement disorders at UTHealth in 2021. Her practice provides clinical evaluation and comprehensive care of patients with movement disorders with training in deep brain stimulation programming for Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor, and dystonia, as well as in botulism toxin injections for migraine, dystonia, hemifacial spasm, and limb spasticity.  Her research interests include the genetics of Parkinson’s disease and post-stroke movement disorders.


Clinical Staff:

Registered Nurse
Tammy Daniele, RN

Medical Assistants
Sonya Murry, MA
Tiffany Owensby, MA
Ashley N. McMurty, MA

Genetic Counselor
Leslie Dunnington, CGC

Social Worker
Madison Kruger, LMSW