NEW YORK, June 9, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Parkinson's Disease Foundation® (PDF®) is pleased to announce $4 million in research investments to solve, treat and end Parkinson's disease. The newest awards, which include increased support for early-career scientists, reflect PDF's urgency for advancing the care and cure for the one million Americans living with Parkinson's disease. Browse research investments below or by visiting www.pdf.org/results_funded.
"PDF research investments have advanced our understanding of Parkinson's disease and improved millions of lives worldwide. Yet, our community is still without the therapies they need most — those that can slow or stop the disease. Our most recent grants reflect PDF's commitment to supporting the next generation of research leaders who will speed us toward better treatments and a cure," noted James Beck, Ph.D., Vice President, Scientific Affairs, Parkinson's Disease Foundation.
PDF's increased investment in early-career scientists is illustrated through the new Stanley Fahn Junior Faculty Awards, named in honor of PDF's longtime Scientific Director. The awards provide young scientists with $300,000 in support over three years for research focused on solving Parkinson's. Among the awardees is Ignacio Fernandez Mata, Ph.D., Acting Assistant Professor at the University of Washington and a researcher at the Geriatrics Research Education and Clinical Center (GRECC) at VA Puget Sound Health Care System, whose project, "Parkinson's Genetic Risk Factors in Latino Populations," will expand upon genetics research that has already provided many important clues about the disease.
"In Parkinson's, genetic studies have advanced the field immeasurably, but they have been confined to studying those of European ancestry, which limits our knowledge and puts non-Europeans at risk for health disparities," said Dr. Mata. "PDF understood this unmet need early on and, at the start of my career, provided seed funding to create the Latin American Research consortium on the Genetics of Parkinson's Disease (LARGE-PD), which has recruited more than 4,000 individuals across Latin America. The PDF Stanley Fahn Award allows my team to take the research further — to perform the first-ever large-scale genetic study of non-European populations, so we can understand if the same genetic risk factors apply to Latinos and identify new ones to help us better understand the disease for everyone."
PDF research investments are selected through a competitive application process reviewed by its Scientific Advisory Board, which includes scientific experts and PDF-trained patient advocates.
PDF's latest research investments are listed below. Additional investments will be announced throughout the year. To learn more, visit www.pdf.org/results_funded.
PDF Research Centers Allow talented scientists to collaborate on basic, translational and clinical research.
Columbia University Medical Center
Un Jung Kang, M.D., Principal Investigator Roy N. Alcalay, M.D., M.Sc. Robert E. Burke, M.D. Lorraine N. Clark, Ph.D. Stanley Fahn, M.D. Blair Ford, M.D. Jill S. Goldman, M.S., M.Phil. Lloyd A. Greene, Ph.D. Sheng-Han Kuo, M.D. Oren Levy, M.D., Ph.D. Karen Marder, M.D., M.P.H. Eugene Mosharov, Ph.D. Serge Przedborski, M.D., Ph.D. Seth L. Pullman, M.D. Yaakov Stern, Ph.D. David Sulzer, Ph.D. Jean Paul G. Vonsattel, M.D. Cheryl H. Waters, M.D. Ai Yamamoto, Ph.D.
Rush University Medical Center
Christopher G. Goetz, M.D., Principal Investigator Brandon R. Barton, M.D., M.S. Bryan A. Bernard, Ph.D. Cynthia L. Comella, M.D. Jennifer G. Goldman, M.D., M.S. Deborah A. Hall, M.D., Ph.D. Katie Kompoliti, M.D. Jeffrey H. Kordower, Ph.D. Leo Verhagen-Metman, M.D., Ph.D. T. Celeste Napier, Ph.D. Kalipada Pahan, Ph.D. Glenn T. Stebbins, Ph.D. Dustin R. Wakeman, Ph.D.
PDF Advancing Parkinson's Treatments Grants Facilitate the movement of treatments from "bench to bedside."
Parkinson Study Group: Advancing Clinical Research Hubert Fernandez, M.D., and Michael Schwarzschild, M.D., Ph.D., Cleveland Clinic and Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School
PDF Parkinson's Prevalence Project
Parkinson's Prevalence Data Analysis
Conference Awards andMeeting Sponsorship
The Disease Modification in Early Parkinson's Disease Consortium (In partnership with the American Parkinson Disease Association) David Charles, M.D., and Mallory Hacker, Ph.D., Vanderbilt University
Dystonia in Parkinson's Disease William T. Dauer, M.D., University of Michigan
Non-pharmaceutical Ways of Maintaining Cognitive Function in Parkinson's Jennifer G. Goldman, M.D., M.S., Rush University Medical Center
Third Global Force PD: Cell Based Therapies Jeffrey H. Kordower, Ph.D., and Lorenz Studer, M.D., Rush University Medical Center and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Second Palliative Care in Parkinson's Keiran Tuck, M.B.B.S., Julie Carter, R.N., M.S., A.N.P., and Benzi Kluger, M.D., M.S., Oregon Health & Science University and University of Colorado
Parkinson's Advocates in Research Leadership Awards
Meaningful Cognitive Outcomes in PD Jared Benge, Ph.D., A.B.P.P.-C.N., Baylor Scott & White Health
Enhancing Patient Engagement in PD Mental Health Research Roseanne D. Dobkin, Ph.D., Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Impact of Exercise on Fatigue, Anxiety and Depression in PD Mary S. Feldman, D.O., Dartmouth College and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center
Parkinson's Outreach and Education to Underserved Communities Jacqueline Rick, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania
The Ecological MOod TrackEr (EMOTE) App in Parkinson's: Filling the Unmet Need Alit Stark-Inbar, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley
PDF Fellowship and Career Development Awards Prepare leaders in Parkinson's research and clinical practice.
Clinical Training Fellowships
Columbia University Medical Center Deepak Gupta, M.D. Devin Hall, M.D. Lan Luo, M.D.* Sarah O'Shea, M.D. Miriam Sklerov, M.D.**
Rush University Medical Center Meagan Bailey, M.D.* Avram Fraint, M.D.
Stanley Fahn Junior Faculty Awards
High Throughput in Vivo Screens for Targeted Parkinson's Disease Gene Therapies James Dahlman, Ph.D., Georgia Institute of Technology
Parkinson's Genetic Risk Factors in Latino Populations Ignacio Fernandez Mata, Ph.D., University of Washington and VA Puget Sound Health Care System
Role ofDirect Pathway Striatal Activity in Dyskinesia Alexandra Nelson, M.D., Ph.D., University of California, San Francisco
Postdoctoral Research Fellowships
Dynamic Interaction Between Striatal Dopaminergic and Cholinergic System in Regulation of Beta-band Oscillations as Mechanisms Underlying Pathophysiology of Parkinson's Disease Daigo Homma, Ph.D., Mentor: Ann Graybiel, Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Investigating the Function of Mitochondrial Derived Vesicles in Neurons and Their Role in Parkinson's Disease Rosalind Roberts, D.Phil., Mentor: Edward Fon, M.D., McGill University
Loss of Glucocerebrosidase Increases Dopaminergic Neuronal Vulnerability by Impairing Autophagic Flux Emily Rocha, Ph.D., Mentor: J. Timothy Greenamyre, M.D., Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
Alpha-synuclein Mediated Toxicity in the Aged Rat Brain: Molecular Mechanism of the Nucleus Ivette Martinez Sandoval, Ph.D., Mentor: Timothy Collier, Ph.D., Michigan State University
Thalamostriatal Adaptations in Parkinson's Disease Asami Tanimura, Ph.D., Mentor: D. James Surmeier, Ph.D., Northwestern University
PDF-ABF Clinician-Scientist Development Award (In partnership with the American Brain Foundation) Parkin Overexpression as a Therapeutic Strategy** Amber Van Laar, M.D., Mentor: J. Timothy Greenamyre, M.D., Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
PDF-PSG Mentored Clinical Research Award (In partnership with the Parkinson Study Group) Cerebellar Morphologic and Functional MRI Measures as a Biomarker of Cognitive Impairment in Parkinson's Disease Baijayanta Maiti, M.D., Ph.D., Mentors: Joel Perlmutter, M.D., and Steven Petersen, Ph.D., Washington University in St. Louis
PDF-APDA Summer Student Fellowships (In partnership with the American Parkinson Disease Association) Identifying Elements of the Transcriptional Regulatory Network of PARIS (ZNF746) Involved in Alpha-synuclein-Induced Neurodegeneration Preston Ge, Mentor: Ted Dawson, M.D., Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University
The Interaction of Parkinson's Disease Gene FBXO7 with Bag2 Dima Hage, Mentor: David Park, Ph.D., University of Ottawa
DBH-ASYN Mouse Model, Effect of Inflammation in Gastrointestinal System Kiana Khosravian, Mentor: Malú Tansey, Ph.D., Emory University
The Role of the ESCRT Complex in a Vesicular Trafficking Pathway from Mitochondria to Lysosomes Sydney Lee, Mentor: Edward Fon, M.D., McGill University
REM Sleep Without Atonia Signatures Help Distinguish Between Synucleinopathy Disorders Stuart McCarter, Mentor: Erik St. Louis, M.D., Mayo Clinic
In Vivo Optical Measurement of Direct and Indirect Path Projection Neuron Activity in a PD Rodent Model with Treatment of L-DOPA and Cannabinoid Antagonists Rachel Mikofsky, Mentor: David Sulzer, Ph.D., Columbia University Medical Center
Relevance of Amino Acid Charge/Polarity in New Familial Mutants of Alpha-synuclein Emily Ong, Mentor: Shubhik DebBurman, Ph.D., Lake Forest College
Impact of Inflammation on Alpha-synuclein Expression in the Colonic Enteric Nervous System Henry Resnikoff, Mentor: Marina Emborg. M.D., Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison
Association Between Water Source and Incidental Parkinson's Disease Maya Silver, Mentor: Brad Racette, M.D., Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis
Investigation of Dopamine Neuron Degeneration as a Consequence of Microbiome-Derived Bacteria Samuel Stanley, Mentor: Kim Caldwell, Ph.D., University of Alabama
Parkinson's Disease Penetrance in Obligate Carriers of SMPD1 Mutations Adina Wise, Mentor: Roy Alcalay, M.D., M.S., Columbia University Medical Center
High Angular Resolution Diffusion Imaging Correlates of Cognitive Impairment in Parkinson's Disease Kali Xu, Mentor: Kathleen Poston, M.D., M.S., Stanford University School of Medicine
* Denotes a second year of funding ** Denotes third year of funding
About Parkinson's Disease Parkinson's disease is a progressive neurological disorder that affects nearly one million people in the US. Although promising research is being conducted, there is currently no cure for Parkinson's disease.
About Research Leadership at PDF As part of the Parkinson's Disease Foundation® (PDF®) strategy to end Parkinson's, PDF mobilizes leaders in the research community to help us more quickly solve, treat and end the disease. To date, PDF has invested $115 million in Parkinson's research, which has advanced our understanding of Parkinson's disease and improved millions of lives worldwide. PDF investments play an integral role in driving interdisciplinary research, advancing the careers of next-generation research leaders, shaping patient-centric research and disseminating scientific information throughout the research, health and patient communities, via our journal dedicated to understanding Parkinson's disease, npj Parkinson's Disease. PDF research investments are listed on the PDF website at www.pdf.org/results_funded.
About the Parkinson's Disease Foundation The Parkinson's Disease Foundation® (PDF®) is a leading national presence in Parkinson's disease research, education and public advocacy. We are working for the nearly one million people in the US who live with Parkinson's disease by funding promising scientific research while supporting people living with Parkinson's disease through educational programs and services. Since its founding in 1957, PDF has dedicated more than $115 million to fund the work of leading scientists throughout the world and nearly $50 million to support education and advocacy programs.