Faculty/Presenters

Tuhin Virmani, M.D., Ph.D., completed his medical training at UT Southwestern Medical School in Dallas where he was in the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP), receiving a combined M.D/Ph.D degree. His research in basic neuroscience explored the physiologic mechanisms by which neurons in the brain communicate with one other using chemical neurotransmitters at the synapse. He then pursued residency training in Neurology at Washington University in St. Louis, where he developed an interest in Movement Disorders. This led to a two-year combined clinical-research fellowship in Movement Disorders under the guidance of Dr. Stanley Fahn and other members of the Center for Parkinson Disease and other Movement Disorders at Columbia University Medical Center in New York. While at Columbia University, Dr. Virmani became interested in the principles underlying the phenomenon of freezing of gait in Parkinson disease and he undertook a clinicopathologic study under the mentorship of Dr. Fahn and Dr. Jean-Paul Vonsattel (Department of Pathology). He also worked with Dr. Fahn to start a clinical trial using a novel motor-neuronotrophic factor for potential neuroprotection in Parkinson disease. In addition to his clinical duties as the Director of the Movement Disorders program at UAMS, Dr. Virmani has established the UAMS Gait Lab and has begun work towards participation in national clinical research trials.

Erika Petersen, M.D, FAANS is the Director of Functional and Restorative Neurosurgery at UAMS. After receiving her bachelor’s degree from Princeton University, she furthered her education at North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, where she received her medical degree. From there, Dr. Petersen completed an internship in general surgery at the University of North Carolina Hospitals and a residency in neurological surgery at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center/Parkland Hospital, where she was chief resident. She also completed an in-residency fellowship in deep brain stimulation at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery at the University of London in London, England. Dr. Petersen is the only board-certified, fellowship-trained movement disorders surgeon practicing in Arkansas.

Jennifer Kleiner, Ph.D., ABPP is a board-certified clinical neuropsychologist at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Dr. Kleiner completed her doctoral degree at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York. She then completed her neuropsychology-specialized internship and postdoctoral fellowship at the New Orleans VA Medical Center and Tulane University. She has evaluated hundreds of patients with movement disorders and is a lead investigator in assessing the linkage between brain imaging and cognitive function in Parkinson’s disease.

Shannon Doerhoff, APRN, MNSc, ACNP-BC, CNRN, is the nurse practitioner for the Movement Disorder Clinic in the Neurology Department at UAMS. She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Harding University (1989) and her Masters of Nursing Science at the University Of Arkansas Medical Sciences College Of Nursing (2008). She is board certified as an Adult Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (2009). During her nursing career she developed an interest in caring for neurology patients and received her certification as a Neuroscience Registered Nurse in 2014. She joined the UAMS Movement Disorder Team in 2015 where she enjoys working closely with patients with Parkinson’s disease and their family members to help provide patient focused care with goal of optimizing one’s quality of life and overall well-being.  She is a member of the American Nurses Association and the American Association of Neuroscience Nursing

Mitesh Lotia, M.D., is an Assistant Professor of Neurology at UAMS. He received his medical degree from Terna Medical College in Mumbai, India, followed by an internship through various medical and surgical specialties before relocating to the United States. He worked as a clinical stroke fellow at Washington Hospital Center in Washington, DC with National Institute of Health (NIH) stroke team where he learned the nuances of acute stroke management. He did a medicine internship followed by a neurology residency at University of Louisville school of Medicine where he also served as a chief resident in his final year. During residency, he became interested in movement disorders, leading to a two-year fellowship in movement disorders at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. In addition to his interest in treating Parkinson’s disease, tremors, dystonia and other movement disorders, he is the only movement disorder neurologist in the state of Arkansas with active clinical and research interest in the treatment of Tourette’s Syndrome. In addition to providing compassionate patient and family-centered care, he is committed to the education of neurology residents and medical students along with the patients and their families.

Rohit Dhall, M.D., MSPH  is an Associate Professor of Neurology and the Director of Neurodegenerative Disorders. He received his medical degree at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in 2000 followed by post-doctoral training in psychiatry at AIIMS. He obtained a Master’s of Science in Epidemiology from the University of Texas at Houston School of Public Health and completed his internship in medicine at the University of Tex as at Houston. He went on to complete his residency at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) followed by a two-year fellowship in clinical movement disorders and Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) at UAB. He works to provide management of Parkinson’s Disease through advanced therapies including deep brain stimulations surgery and has providing intraoperative neurophysiology support for DBS. As an educator, Dr. Dhall shares UAMS’s deep commitment to nurturing the next generation of Parkinson’s disease researchers and neurologists. He has authored many research articles on neurological topics and has presented his work in the United States and abroad.

Leah Eisenberg, J.D., M.A.,  is Assistant Professor of Medical Humanities at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS). She teaches, serves on two IRBs, and is a clinical and research ethicist at UAMS and Arkansas Children’s Hospital. She has a special interest in health literacy and improving patient understanding of informed consent, assent, and HIPAA documents.Ms. Eisenberg completed a fellowship in Bioethics Research at Mayo Clinic after earning an Masters in Bioethics from Case Western Reserve University and a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School.  She has been with UAMS since 2013.

Mary Margaret Latham, PT, LSVT ‘BIG’certified, CSRS graduated from the University of Central Arkansas with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Therapy.    As a practicing physical therapist, Mary Margaret has worked in hospital based inpatient and outpatient acute care, pediatric school based therapy, and geriatric assisted living facilities; has owned and operated outpatient private practices, and has 28 years in home health care in the Little Rock area.   In the three years she has been at UAMS, she has worked with orthopedic and neurological diagnoses and completed certification as a LSVT ‘BIG’ Therapist for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders.

Hylan Pickett, MS, CCC-SLP  is an outpatient Speech-Language Pathologist at UAMS. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Vocal Music at Ouachita Baptist University prior to pursuing a career in speech pathology. Hylan then graduated from University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences with a Master’s of Science in Communication Disorders in 2007. In her 11 year career at UAMS, she has had the opportunity to work primarily in the outpatient setting, with a variety of diagnoses. Although, has an ongoing passion in helping people with neurological disorders affecting speech, swallowing, and voice. Her focus is to improve the quality of life and function in daily living specific to each patient’s needs for communication and swallowing. She is certified in Lee Silverman Voice Treatment and Myofascial Release for head and neck.

Jessica Turker MS, RD, LD, CNSC is a Registered Dietitian. She attended the University of Central Arkansas as an undergraduate and completed a Master’s degree in Clinical Nutrition at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. In the fall of 2014, she became a Certified Nutrition Support Specialist through the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition. She now serves as the Assistant Director of Clinical Nutrition overseeing both inpatient, outpatient, and NICU dietitians. She has passion for clean, healthy eating and is a member of the 501 Crossfit family at the North Little Rock Athletic Club.

Amy Widner, RYT-200 teaches chair yoga and chair-assisted yoga at the UAMS Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging. Amy has completed a 200-hour training program accredited by the Yoga Alliance and has more than 500 hours teaching experience. She specializes in using chairs and other props to make yoga more accessible for seniors, beginners and everyone in between. In all her classes, she uses the breath, body and attention to ground us in the present moment, relieving stress and building connection. Off the mat, you can find her at her day job as a communications writer and editor at the Office of Communications & Marketing at UAMS.