Professor, Department Chair
Director of Doctoral Program, Environmental Health Sciences




Pathogenic mechanisms and therapeutic strategies for Parkinson’s disease


After receiving his bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from the University of Saskatchewan, Dr. Kim Tieu practiced as a pharmacist for several years. During this time, he also secured a competitive graduate student scholarship and was recruited to join a doctoral program at the University of Saskatchewan to investigate a series of newly developed compounds, known as propargylamines, for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease (PD) and other neurological disorders. He subsequently left Canada to accept a postdoctoral position at Columbia University to further develop his expertise in PD research. In 2004, Dr. Tieu was recruited by the Department of Environmental Medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center to establish his independent research laboratory. In Rochester, his laboratory received funding supports from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) to investigate the novel pathogenic mechanisms mediated by glia-neuron interactions, gene-environment interactions and imbalanced mitochondrial fission/fusion in PD.

In 2012, Dr. Tieu was recruited by Plymouth University in England to establish a research program in PD. Recognizing the novel and translational aspects of his research, NIEHS agreed to continue funding his work from a foreign institute to investigate the role of mitochondrial dynamics in PD. His laboratory also secured a highly competitive grant from the UK Medical Research Council to determine the therapeutic potential of improving mitochondrial function against genetic mutations in PD. The potential clinical relevance of one of Dr. Tieu’s research project has generated extensive press coverage and has been highlighted by Nature Review Neurology (Wood H., 2015, 11:5), NIEHS (https://factor.niehs.nih.gov/2014/12/science-potentialtreatment/), NIH (https://www.nih.gov/news-events/nih-research-matters/targeting-parkinsons-disease-pathways) and other news outlets.

In 2016, Dr. Tieu was recruited back to the U.S. to join the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at Florida International University. His laboratory uses a combination of innovative and transdisciplinary approaches to study PD as described below.


Dr. Tieu is the principal investigator of the Parkinson’s Disease Research Laboratory. The major goal of this group is to study mechanisms of neuronal dysfunction and degeneration as seen in Parkinson’s disease, with the ultimate goal of developing effective disease-modifying therapies for this devastating brain disorder. More specific research interests of this laboratory can be found at https://stempel.fiu.edu/parkinsons-disease-research-laboratory/.


  • Columbia University, Postdoctoral training
  • University of Saskatchewan, BSP, Ph.D.