The Parkinson’s Foundation announces an investment of $4.3 million in 29 grants to accelerate cutting-edge Parkinson’s disease (PD) research, in addition to the $10 million spend announced earlier this year.

The research grants fund an array of studies looking at the underlying causes and basic biology of PD with the ultimate goal of bringing forward new therapies and treatments for the 10 million individuals worldwide living with this debilitating neurological disease.

“The Parkinson’s Foundation has doubled in size over the last four years, allowing us to increase our overall investment in research. The scientists we are funding are working in critical areas of Parkinson’s disease research.

“By focusing on the basic biology of the disease and investing in the world’s best scientists, the Foundation is paving the way for important breakthroughs in Parkinson’s research in the coming years.”  

— John L. Lehr, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Parkinson’s Foundation

New Awards

This year, the Foundation is pleased to announce the new George G. Kaufman 2021 Impact Awards, in memory of the esteemed economist and scholar and his passion for ending Parkinson’s. The awards were made possible by a $1 million donation from Kaufman’s surviving wife, Mimi Winter, to support high-risk, high-reward projects that explore the basic biology of PD and potential new treatments.

Also newly bestowed is the 2021 James R. “Jim Bob” Moffett, Sr. Postdoctoral Fellowship, named in memory of Mr. Moffett’s dedication to supporting PD research. This award will prepare future leaders in Parkinson’s research. 

Daniel Silverman, PhD, the award’s inaugural recipient from The Regents of the University of California, Berkeley, will investigate sleep physiology and its dysregulation in PD.

“Sleep problems are a common symptom of Parkinson’s disease and in some cases an early warning sign before motor symptoms set in. It remains largely unexplored whether sleep regulation and degeneration pathways have common molecular components.

“It is exhilarating to be able to investigate sleep physiology and its dysregulation in PD, and I am very grateful to the Parkinson’s Foundation for the fellowship support.”

— Daniel Silverman, PhD

“The best way to provide a better quality of life to people living with Parkinson’s is to invest in vital research. There is always the hope that the next breakthrough will take place at any one of the labs we fund.”

— James Beck, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer of the Parkinson’s Foundation

Selection Process

Parkinson’s Foundation research grants are selected through a competitive application process that includes a peer-review panel consisting of scientific experts, including members of the Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Board and Foundation-trained research advocates.

These research grants are in addition to the $10 million investment made earlier this year, which included expansion of PD GENEration: Mapping the Future of Parkinson’s Disease study. PD GENEration is a global initiative that provides genetic testing and counseling at no cost to people with PD. 

Research award categories include independent investigator awards, fellowships and early career awards, and collaborative fellowships awards.

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

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