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Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion

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Allison W. Willis, MD, MS, FCPP, FANA

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CHERP Associate Director & Core Investigator

  • Associate Chief of Staff (ACOS), Neurology, Corporal Michael J. Crescenz VA Medical Center (CMCVAMC)
  • Tenured Professor of Neurology, Department of Neurology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
  • Tenured Professor of Epidemiology, Department of Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Informatics, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
  • Senior Fellow, Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, University of Pennsylvania


Dr. Willis is the Associate Chief of Staff for Neurology and the Associate Director of the Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion (CHERP) at the Corporal Michael J. Crescenz VA Medical Center (CMCVAMC) in Philadelphia.

Dr. Allison Willis is Professor of Neurology and Epidemiology (with tenure) at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, where she also holds several other appointments: Senior Fellow in the Leonard Davis Institute for Health Economics, Faculty Scholar in the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Core Faculty in the Center for Pharmacoepidemiology Research and Training, and Co-Director of the Resource Center for Minority Aging Research.

Dr. Willis is a movement disorders neurologist with formal research training in analytical and spatial epidemiology, pharmacoepidemiology, and health outcomes research. Through two complementary investigative paths, she uses analytical epidemiology methods to pursue research questions relevant to clinical decision-making and health policy for neuroaging populations. Her health services research program focuses on the complex ways adults with neurological diseases interact with the U.S. and VA healthcare systems, with the ultimate goal of integrating equity practices into daily healthcare processes and care models. Her pharmacoepidemiology research program focuses on the bidirectional relationships between neurological disease and CNS drug effects.

Dr. Willis’s work has received funding from NINDS, NIA, PCORI, MJFF, APDA, and the Parkinson Foundation. She has held leadership and organizing roles in national and international organizations focused on neurological disorders, including the American Neurological Association, the Parkinson Study Group, the International Movement Disorders Society, and the American Academy of Neurology. Dr. Willis has over 200 peer-reviewed research manuscripts and abstracts.

Research Areas
Health Disparities/Equity
Neuroaging Populations

2021, American Neurological Association Excellence Award
2019, Marjorie Bowman Investigator Award for Health Services Research, University of Pennsylvania
2015, Jon Stolk Investigator Award for Movement Disorders Research, American Academy of Neurology