NEW YORK, Aug. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- The Michael J. Fox Foundation for
Parkinson's Research (MJFF) today announced the creation of The Michael J. Fox
Foundation Research Fellowship program, designed to encourage promising young
scientists and clinicians to enter the field of Parkinson's research. The
$1.2 million program provides a two-year fellowship awarded on a competitive
basis at nine leading research institutions in North America.
"With Parkinson's disease research now gaining momentum, the Foundation's
Fellowship program will help build the bench strength needed to quickly find a
cure," said Michael J. Fox.
"This program is a logical complement to our aggressive research funding
strategy," said Deborah W. Brooks, executive director. "The Michael J. Fox
Foundation Fellowship program is designed to help attract excellent young
scientists and clinicians to cutting-edge Parkinson's disease research
efforts. In addition, the program will provide the fellows with the mentoring
and collaborative opportunities critical to the early stage of their careers."
Ms. Brooks noted that each fellow would work under the guidance of a member of
the Foundation's Scientific Advisory Board, comprised of leading researchers
in various aspects of Parkinson's disease.
The fellowship initiative is one element of MJFF's broad research agenda
to eliminate Parkinson's disease within the decade, given the proper funding.
To date, the Fox Foundation has funded or directed more than $17 million in
Parkinson's disease research. An additional $8 million in three research
programs is scheduled to be funded by the end of the year.
The following institutions currently are seeking applicants for their
Michael J. Fox Foundation Research Fellowships:
* The Parkinson's Institute. A basic research fellowship under the
direction of J. William Langston, MD, scientific director and chief
executive officer and colleagues. A second fellowship providing
experience in epidemiologic research methods under the direction of
Caroline M. Tanner, MD, PhD, director of clinical research.
* Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center. A research fellowship
under the direction of Jeffrey H. Kordower, PhD, professor of
Neurological Sciences and director of the Research Center for Brain
* Stanford University. Fellowship in stem cell biology under the
direction of Theo D. Palmer, PhD, assistant professor of neurology.
* University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine. Research
fellowship under the direction of Clifford W. Schults, MD, focusing on
the processes leading to neuronal death in Parkinson's disease and
developing interventions in these pathogenic processes.
* University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Research fellowship
available under the direction of Michael J. Zigmond, PhD, co-director
of the National Parkinson Foundation Center of Excellence and associate
director for research of the Pittsburgh Institute for Neurodegenerative
* University of Toronto, Toronto Western Hospital. Fellowship for
physicians and post-doctoral scientists to train in functional
neurosurgery and research in Parkinson's disease under the direction of
Andres M. Lozano, MD, PhD, head of applied and interventional research.
The following institutions have already named their research fellows.
* Columbia University, College of Physicians & Surgeons, Department of
Neurology. Robert Silva, PhD, has been named the first Michael J. Fox
Foundation Research Fellow. Dr. Silva will work under the direction of
Robert E. Burke, MD, director of laboratory research in Parkinson's
disease and related disorders. Dr. Silva will study programmed cell
death of dopamine neurons, examining the role of the c-jun kinase (JNK)
signaling pathway. Dr. Silva received his bachelor's degree from Boston
University and a doctorate from The City University of New York.
* Emory University School of Medicine. Todd Sherer, PhD, has been named
the first Michael J. Fox Research Fellow at the Center for
Neurodegenerative Diseases. Dr. Sherer will work under the direction
of J. Timothy Greenamyre, MD, PhD, to study models of environmentally
induced Parkinson's disease and mechanisms of cell death. Dr. Sherer
received a bachelor's degree in psychology from Duke University and a
doctorate in neuroscience from The University of Virginia.
* The Institute for Neurodegenerative Disorders. Rowena Tabamo, MD has
been named the first Michael J. Fox Research Fellow. Dr. Tabamo will
work under the direction of Kenneth L. Marek, MD, president and senior
scientist, to study neuroimaging for Parkinson's disease. Dr. Tabamo
received a bachelor's degree in biology at the University of the
Phillipines, and an MD degree from the University of the Philippines,
the Philippine General Hospital Medical Center. Dr. Tabamo completed
an internship in internal medicine at New York Medical College, and
residencies in neurology at the University of Missouri and Brown
University. Most recently, Dr. Tabamo was a fellow in at the Albert
Einstein College of Medicine, Beth Israel Medical Center.
Founded in May 2000, The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's
Research has established a strategic campaign to accelerate, expand, and focus
funding of the world's best research targeting effective treatment and
prevention of Parkinson's disease. MJFF is dedicated to pursuing every
possible avenue to increase federal funding and support aggressive fundraising
efforts in both private and corporate arenas to ensure that this critical
battle is won. For more information on The Michael J. Fox Foundation for
Parkinson's Research, visit http://www.michaeljfox.org.
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SOURCE The Michael J. Fox Foundation