The Parkinson’s Foundation announces an investment of $5.7 million in 33 grants to accelerate cutting-edge Parkinson’s disease (PD) research. Through research grants, the Foundation funds scientists conducting innovative studies across various aspects of PD to bring forward new therapies, treatments and ultimately a cure for the 10 million people worldwide living with this debilitating neurological disease.

“The pioneering work of most Nobel Prize recipients occurred before the age of 40, and young scientists are likely to play a significant role in groundbreaking PD discoveries. Compared to the National Institutes of Health, our support doubles the number of early career researchers dedicating their careers to PD,” said Chief Scientific Officer James Beck, PhD, of the Parkinson’s Foundation. “Established investigators also bring keen insight to understanding PD, and our funding drives the pursuit of novel ideas that may lead to PD breakthroughs.”

The Foundation is foremost focused on supporting innovative scientific approaches to PD research. Individual scientists are the drivers of these advances. The Stanley Fahn Junior Faculty Award acts as a bridge to ensure that independent, early career scientists stay in the PD research field. Stanley Fahn Junior Faculty Award recipients receive a maximum three-year award of $300,000.

Grant recipient Sarah Shahmoradian, PhD, of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, will apply the award to study the cellular anatomy of a key Parkinson’s protein, called alpha-synuclein (aSyn), using 3D Electron Tomography in its natural state in the brain. Through this study, her team will have the potential to fundamentally advance the understanding of how PD develops, inform new therapeutic strategies, and improve imaging tracer development.

“The generous support from the Parkinson’s Foundation cements my commitment to continuing my PD research. By receiving this award from an organization so intimately linked to those affected by PD, I feel a heightened sense of personal responsibility and urgency,” said Dr. Shahmoradian.

Parkinson’s Foundation research grants are selected through a highly competitive application process that is comprised of a peer-review panel of scientific experts, including members of the Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Board and Foundation-trained research advocates. Research award categories include independent investigator awards, fellowships, and early career awards.

[Source(s): Parkinson’s Foundation, PR Newswire]