The Michael J. Fox Foundation Announces Research Fellowships

    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
       Repair.
 
      * 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
       Disorders.
 
      * 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.
      They are:
 
      * 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

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