Vicki L. Wheelock, M.D.
- Director, HDSA Center of Excellence at UC Davis
- Health Sciences Clinical Professor
Philosophy of Care
My philosophy of care is patient- and family- centered. I value the clinician-patient relationship and focus on the impact of neurological conditions on patients and their families. My role is to provide state-of-the neurological care tailored to the individual, informed by evidence-based treatments and incorporating advances in neurological therapeutics.
Dr. Wheelock is a neurologist specializing in the care of patients with movement disorders, including Huntington's disease, Parkinson's disease, essential tremor, ataxia and other conditions. She is the founding director of the Huntington's Disease Society of America's Center of Excellence at UC Davis, designated since 2001. The Center provides multi-disciplinary care for patients and families affected by Huntington's disease across the lifespan. The multidisciplinary team includes neurologists Dr. Alexandra "Sasha" Duffy and Dr. Ashok "Josh" Dayananthan, psychiatrist Dr. Lorin Scher, social worker Lisa Mooney LCSW, genetic Counselor Mara Sifry-Platt LCGC, and physical therapist Michael Sterken DPT.
In addition to my role as a clinician, I have been involved in clinical research in Huntington's disease for over 2 decades. I have been an investigator member of the Huntington's Study Group since 1997 and formed a translational research collaboration with Dr. Jan Nolta, director of the UC Davis Institute for Regenerative Cures in 2009. Our Huntington's disease multi-disciplinary program takes pride in offering opportunities for participation in research to help advance of our understanding of HD and lead to meaningful treatments.
M.D., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor MI 1983
B.S., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor MI 1979
Internship: Internal Medicine, William Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak MI 1983-1984
Neurology, University of Southern California (Los Angeles County), Los Angeles CA 1984-1987
American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Neurology,
American Academy of Neurology
Huntington Study Group
Huntington�s Disease Society of America
Honors and Awards
Northern California HDSA Team Hope Walk Honoree, 2018
UC Davis Department of Neurology Recognition Award for leadership as Residency Program Director, 2015
Dean's Award for Excellence in Education, UC Davis School of Medicine, 2011
Leadership Award, Graduate Medical Education Committee for 5 year accreditation of residency program, 2011
Dean's Award for Excellence in Clinical Care, UC Davis School of Medicine, 2009
Patient and Family Services Award, National HDSA, 2007
Alpha Omega Alpha Society, 2007
Northern California HDSA Leadership Award, 2007
Distinguished Leadership Award, Huntington Disease Society of America, 2003
Select Recent Publications
Claassen DO, Corey-Bloom J, Dorsey ER, Edmondson M, Kostyk SK, LeDoux MS, Reilmann R, Rosas HD, Walker F, Wheelock V, Svrzikapa N, Longo KA, Goyal J, Hung S, Panzara MA. Genotyping single nucleotide polymorphisms for allele-selective therapy in Huntington disease. Neurol Genet. 2020 May 14;6(3):e430. doi:10.1212/NXG.0000000000000430. PMID:32548276.
Fink KD, Deng P, Gutierrez J, Anderson JS, Torrest A, Komarla A, Kalomoiris S, Cary W, Anderson JD, Gruenloh W, Duffy A, Tempkin T, Annett G, Wheelock V, Segal DJ, Nolta JA. Allele-Specific Reduction of the Mutant Huntingtin Allele Using Transcription Activator-Like Effectors in Human Huntington's Disease Fibroblasts. Cell Transplant. 2016;25(4):677-86. doi:10.3727/096368916X690863. Epub 2016 Feb 4. PMID:26850319.
Pollock K, Dahlenburg H, Nelson H, Fink KD, Cary W, Hendrix K, Annett G, Torrest A, Deng P, Gutierrez J, Nacey C, Pepper K, Kalomoiris S, D Anderson J, McGee J, Gruenloh W, Fury B, Bauer G, Duffy A, Tempkin T, Wheelock V, Nolta JA. Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells Genetically Engineered to Overexpress Brain-derived Neurotrophic Factor Improve Outcomes in Huntington's Disease Mouse Models. Mol Ther. 2016 May;24(5):965-77. doi:10.1038/mt.2016.12. Epub 2016 Jan 14. PMID:26765769.
Fink KD, Deng P, Torrest A, Stewart H, Pollock K, Gruenloh W, Annett G, Tempkin T, Wheelock V, Nolta JA. Developing stem cell therapies for juvenile and adult-onset Huntington's disease. Regen Med. 2015;10(5):623-46. doi:10.2217/rme.15.25. PMID:26237705.
Dorsey ER, Beck CA, Darwin K, Nichols P, Brocht AF, Biglan KM, Shoulson I; Huntington Study Group COHORT Investigators. Natural history of Huntington disease. JAMA Neurol. 2013 Dec;70(12):1520-30. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2013.4408. PMID:24126537.
Olson SD, Pollock K, Kambal A, Cary W, Mitchell GM, Tempkin J, Stewart H, McGee J, Bauer G, Kim HS, Tempkin T, Wheelock V, Annett G, Dunbar G, Nolta JA. Genetically engineered mesenchymal stem cells as a proposed therapeutic for Huntington's disease. Mol Neurobiol. 2012 Feb;45(1):87-98. doi:10.1007/s12035-011-8219-8. Epub 2011 Dec 9. PMID:22161544.
Biglan KM, Ross CA, Langbehn DR, Aylward EH, Stout JC, Queller S, Carlozzi NE, Duff K, Beglinger LJ, Paulsen JS; PREDICT-HD Investigators of the Huntington Study Group. Motor abnormalities in premanifest persons with Huntington's disease: the PREDICT-HD study. Mov Disord. 2009 Sep 15;24(12):1763-72. doi:10.1002/mds.22601. PMID:19562761.
Higginson CI, Wheelock VL, Levine D, King DS, Pappas CT, Sigvardt KA. The clinical significance of neuropsychological changes following bilateral subthalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation for Parkinson's disease. J Clin Exp Neuropsychol. 2009 Jan;31(1):65-72. doi:10.1080/13803390801982734. Epub 2008 May 19. PMID:18608676.
Huntington Study Group TREND-HD Investigators. Randomized controlled trial of ethyl-eicosapentaenoic acid in Huntington disease: the TREND-HD study. Arch Neurol. 2008 Dec;65(12):1582-9. doi:10.1001/archneur.65.12.1582. Erratum in: Arch Neurol. 2009 Mar;66(3):305. PMID:19064745.
Higginson CI, Wheelock VL, Levine D, King DS, Pappas CT, Sigvardt KA. Cognitive deficits in essential tremor consistent with frontosubcortical dysfunction. J Clin Exp Neuropsychol. 2008 Oct;30(7):760-5. doi:10.1080/13803390701754738. Epub 2008 Feb 15. PMID:18608666.