Silke Appel-Cresswell

Wall Associate


Associate Professor


Division of Neurology





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Dr Silke Appel-Cresswell is a movement disorder neurologist, trained in Germany, London (UK) and Vancouver, BC. She is an Associate Professor (grant tenure) for Medicine/Neurology at the University of British Columbia (UBC) and holds the Marg Meikle Professorship for Research in Parkinson’s disease. Her research focusses on the role of the microbiome in Parkinson’s disease and other brain disorders, care delivery in Parkinson’s as well as coping strategies, resilience and neuropsychiatric features of Parkinson’s. She has established iCAPTURE PD, a large registry for Parkinson’s and related disorders which serves as a resource to understand clinical patterns and clinic-genetic correlations. Dr Appel-Cresswell is a founding director of the BC Brain Wellness Foundation to foster wellbeing in chronic brain disease and aging through exercise, arts, nutrition, mind care, and education. She is spearheading the use of ultrasound to guide botulinum toxin injections for dystonia in Canada.

Dr Appel-Cresswell is co-director of the annual National Canadian Neurology Residents Course for Movement Disorders. Her contributions to teaching were recently recognized with the “Department of Medicine (UBC) Master Teacher Award” in 2018. She serves as the secretary of the Canadian Movement Disorder Group, as a scientific advisor for Parkinson Canada and for the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation Canada as well as a peer reviewer for several scientific journals. She has been a speaker and has served on the organizing committees of several regional, national and international conferences, including the 21st International Congress of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders in 2017.

Co-Principal Investigator Awards

William Forde Thompson – International Visiting Research Scholars – 2019

Known for his warmly inclusive speech style and remarkable skills in presenting complex research, Dr. Thompson will review existing research and theory on how music and other creative arts have been used to nurture social cohesion and community resilience across segments of society. Special attention will be directed towards the benefits of creative arts programs for disadvantaged groups, whether arising from physical or cognitive disability, social exclusion or marginalisation, or both.
Dr Thompson will present a framework for the investigation and promotion of intercultural music engagement (IME), along with an outline of its implications for education and social policy.

Dr. Thompson will bring extensive research insight on the psychosocial and neurological benefits of the creative arts for individuals with physical and cognitive impairment as well as innovative work on how music can impact intercultural understanding, issues related to refugees and recent migrants. Working closely with hosts, Ève Poudrier and Rena Sharon (School of Music), Silke Appel-Cresswell, Jon Stoessl and Robin Hsiung (Medicine-Neurology), and Christina Hoppman (Health Psychology), Dr. Thompson will help foster research and practice initiatives focused on disability and marginalization in multicultural societies, addressing questions of how engagement with the creative arts can increase cultural fluency and facilitate collaboration across individuals and communities.
Links between existing research groups will stimulate avenues of research that have gained momentum through the Centre for Brain Health (co-director, Jon Stoessl) and Brain Wellness Program (Silke Appel-Cresswell), and several Research Excellence Clusters.