Michael S Okun, MD

(352) 294-5400

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Michael S. Okun is a neurologist, neuroscientist and author. He is the co-founder and director of the Norman Fixel Institute for Neurological Diseases at the University of Florida and is the chair of the Department of Neurology at the University of Florida (2015-current) and the Medical Director/Advisor for the Parkinson’s Foundation (2006-current). He is best known for his work in translating physiological principles underpinning human diseases, such as Tourette syndrome, tremor and Parkinson's into real-world therapies. He received his M.D. with honors from the University of Florida. He was fellowship trained by Mahlon DeLong, Jerrold Vitek and colleagues at Emory University in Atlanta GA before moving to found the movement disorders program at the University of Florida. The UF institute he co-founded with Kelly D. Foote, M.D. is unique in that it is comprised of over ~100 interdisciplinary faculty members from diverse areas of campus, all of whom are dedicated to care, outreach, education and research. Dr. Okun was instrumental in the construction of a one-stop patient-centered clinical-research experience for national and international patients seeking care at the University of Florida. This change in care and research delivery has since been named the service and science hub model of care. The UF based center draws national and international visitors interested in deploying this innovative clinical-research model. Dr. Okun has served as the Medical Director/Advisor for the Parkinson’s Foundation since 2006 and as the Medical Advisor for Tyler’s Hope for a Dystonia Cure. He has been supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, the Smallwood Foundation, the Tourette Association of America, the Parkinson Alliance, the Bachmann-Strauss Foundation, the Parkinson’s Foundation, and the Michael J. Fox Foundation. Dr. Okun has an active research career exploring non-motor basal ganglia brain features and holds several NIH grants and foundation grants exploring various aspects of deep brain stimulation and neuromodulation. Dr. Okun has been an integral part of some of the pioneering studies exploring the cognitive, behavioral, and mood effects of brain stimulation and since 2005 his laboratory has been working to uncover the electrical brain signals associated with human tic. He has also partnered with Dr. Ayse Gunduz and Kelly Foote to develop a first generation of closed loop adaptive deep brain stimulation approaches. Okun was named by the University of Florida College of Medicine as the 'Clinical researcher of the Year' in 2021. Dr. Okun was the founding PI for the International Database and Public Registry for Tourette Deep Brain Stimulation. He and his group have contributed data to support the FDA approval of several device related approaches now used to treat human disease. Dr. Okun holds the Adelaide Lackner Professorship in Neurology and has published over 400 peer-reviewed articles. He is a poet (Lessons From the Bedside, 1995) and has authored 14 books. One of his book's, Parkinson's Treatment: 10 Secrets to a Happier Life, was translated into over 20 languages. Dr. Okun was recognized in a 2015 White House ceremony by the Obama administration as a Champion of Change for Parkinson’s Disease.


Fellow in Movement Disorders and Sterotactic Surgery for Movement Disorders
Emory University

Residency - Neurology
University of Florida

Residency - Internal Medicine
University of Florida

Medical Degree
University of Florida

Board Certifications


Honors and Awards

Clinical Science Researcher of the Year Award
University of Florida College of Medicine

Presidential Award for Translational Research
American Society for Experimental Neurotherapeutics

White House Champion of Change
President Obama and Administration