Parkinson’s disease pioneer, Dr. Lieberman, honored for lasting legacy

Nearly 150 guests from around the state and across the country gathered at the Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort on Oct. 12 to honor Dr. Abraham Lieberman’s legacy and support Parkinson’s research.

Dr. Lieberman will be retiring this winter after practicing at Barrow Neurological Institute for almost three decades and caring for more than 40,000 patients, according to a press release.

He was Muhammad Ali’s doctor and was instrumental in the development of Barrow’s Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center in 1997, along with Muhammad and his wife Lonnie. Today, the center is the nation’s most comprehensive center for Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders, the press release stated.

The event, hosted by Barrow Neurological Foundation, was emceed by Jimmy Walker, and those honoring Dr. Lieberman included Lonnie Ali; long-time supporters of Dr. Lieberman and the Barrow Neurological Foundation, Bob and Renee Parsons; Barrow President and CEO Dr. Michael Lawton; and past President and CEO Dr. Robert Spetzler.

The event celebrated Dr. Lieberman’s many contributions to progress in Parkinson’s care, education and research, as described in a historical perspective from Senior Vice President of Barrow, Dr. Jeremy Shefner.

To date $2.2 million has been raised for Parkinson’s research.

The investment will be used to name the Lieberman Research Center at the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center and continue Dr. Lieberman’s efforts, including expanding Barrow’s basic, translational and clinical research to qualify as the first Udall Center of Excellence in the Southwest.

As detailed by director of the center Dr. Holly Shill, being selected as an Udall Center would elevate the center to new heights, enable the team to conduct and contribute more to research, attract top talent, share knowledge with the community and serve more patients with highly complex movement disorders.

To support Dr. Lieberman’s legacy and help fund research to benefit patients with Parkinson’s, visit

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