The American Parkinson Disease Association Awards $1.1 million in Research Grants and Continues to Lead the Way to Ease the Burden – Find the Cure for Parkinson’s Disease

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The American Parkinson Disease Association has announced $1.1 million in new research funding for 2014-2015 supporting seven Research grants, three Post-Doctoral Fellowships, and eight Centers of Advanced Research.

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“What sets APDA apart is it’s track record of launching the careers of the best and brightest scientists working on PD." Dr. David G. Standaert

The American Parkinson Disease Association is pleased to award research funding supporting seven Research grants to junior investigators pursuing research in Parkinson’s disease, three Post-Doctoral Fellowships to support post-doctoral scientists whose research training holds promise into new insights of geriatric psychology, pathophysiology, etiology and treatment of Parkinson’s disease, and eight Centers of Advanced Research located in major academic and medical centers across the country intended to strengthen and help to integrate already existing investigative teams.

Grants are awarded through a competitive application process reviewed through APDA’s Scientific Advisory Board (SAB), chaired by David G. Standaert, MD, Ph.D., John N. Whitaker Professor and Chair of Neurology and Director, Division of Movement Disorders at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. The SAB rigorously reviews all research applications, contemplates and debates the merits of each grant proposal and recommends funding of the most promising studies while keeping in mind APDA’s critical role in driving forward progress and supporting the researchers of the future. “What sets APDA apart is it’s track record of launching the careers of the best and brightest scientists working on Parkinson’s disease, and enabling exploration of new ideas for finding the cure," commented Dr. Standaert.

The SAB is comprised of a prominent panel of 12 of the country’s most respected neurologists and scientists in Parkinson’s disease research who each represent expertise in major areas of investigation. APDA in its relentless pursuit to Find a Cure, pledges to continue research initiatives to meet the collective goal of one day putting an end to this devastating neurological movement disorder that affects more than 1 million Americans.

Sheng-Han Kuo, MD, Ph.D. a previously funded APDA Junior researcher investigating the relationship of the most common of genetic mutations of PD, causes of cellular dysfunction and PD pathology at Columbia University said, “I can’t emphasize enough that as a junior investigator how important APDA funding is for high risk, high reward studies. This support has allowed me to start my own lab and gather the data needed to leverage additional funding from NIH and Columbia University.”

APDA has had a hand in funding most of the PD scientific discoveries in the last 50 years including the work of Dr. George C. Cotzias, which led to establishing the effectiveness of high oral doses of Levodopa in treating PD; the work of Dr. Roger Duvoisin and his team that led to identifying the role of heredity and environment in PD; the research of Dr. Menek Goldstein establishing the role of dopamine agonists in PD treatment; and the research at Robert Wood Johnson Medical Center, which led to the discovery of a mutation in the gene alpha-Synucelin, named PARK1.

Browse all APDA funded investigators by visiting http://www.apdaparkinson.org/research/apda-funded-research/

Three Post-Doctoral Fellowships awarded to support post-doctoral scientists whose research training holds promise into new insights of geriatric psychology, pathophysiology, etiology and treatment of Parkinson’s disease.

  • Peter Ash, Ph.D., Boston University, MA
  • Nebojsa Kezunovic, Ph.D., Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, NY, NY
  • Khoa Nguyen, Ph.D., Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA

Seven Research Grants awarded to junior investigators affiliated with and performing research at an academic institution to pursue research in Parkinson’s disease.

  • Theresa Ellis, Ph.D., Boston University, MA
  • Samual A. Frank, MD, Boston University, MA
  • Cristina Guardia Laguarta, Ph.D., Columbia University, NY, NY
  • Daniel Lawrence, Ph.D., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
  • Laura Volpicelli-Daley, Ph.D., University of Alabama at Birmingham, AL
  • Jinbin Xu, Ph.D., Washington University, St. Louis, MO
  • Talene Yacoubian, MD, Ph.D., University of Alabama at Birmingham, AL

Centers for Advanced Research located in major academic and medical centers across the country intended to strengthen and help to integrate already existing investigative teams.

  • Boston University School of Medicine
  • Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta
  • Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson School of Medicine, New Brunswick, NJ
  • University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • University of Virginia Medical Center, Charlottesville
  • Washington University, St. Louis

The American Parkinson Disease Association (APDA) was founded in 1961 to Ease the Burden - Find the Cure for Parkinson's disease. Headquartered in New York, the organization focuses its energies on research, patient services, education and raising public awareness about the disease. APDA supports eight Centers for Advanced Research, Regional Information and Referral (I&R) Centers, chapters throughout the country, and support groups nationwide. APDA has raised and awarded more than $86 million to fund research and patient services while participating in the funding of most major PD scientific discoveries.

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Stephanie Paul
American Parkinson Disease Association
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