George C. Cotzias, MD, Memorial Fellowship to be Awarded in 2016-2017 Academic Year

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American Parkinson Disease Association announces call for applications for the 2016-2017 George C. Cotzias, MD, Memorial Fellowship Award.

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“I recognize the APDA Cotzias Fellowship as one of the most important events in establishing my long-term commitment to Parkinson disease research. I received my award in 1996, which was a crucial moment in my career,”

The American Parkinson Disease Association (APDA) is pleased to announce the application process for this prestigious award is now open. In its thirty-seven year history, the APDA Cozias Fellowship has been awarded to only twenty-eight scientific investigators. The fellowship was developed by APDA in 1979 to honor Dr. Cotzias who was a pathfinder in the pharmacologic exploration of brain functions and in the treatment of Parkinson's disease with levodopa. The goal of the award, which provides financial support to recipients of $80,000 per year for 3-years, is to stimulate young neurologists to follow in Dr. Cotzias’ footsteps in understanding new discoveries that will lead to advances in treating neurological movement disorders. The fellowship is awarded to promising young neurologists to help them establish careers in research, teaching and patient services relevant to the problems, causes, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of Parkinson's disease and related neurological movement disorders.

“I recognize the APDA Cotzias Fellowship as one of the most important events in establishing my long-term commitment to Parkinson disease research. I received my award in 1996, which was a crucial moment in my career,” states David G. Standaert, MD, PhD, Chair of the APDA Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) and John N. Whitaker Professor and Chair of Neurology, and Director of the Division of Movement Disorders at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. “I had just completed my movement disorders training and was a new assistant professor at Harvard Medical School. The financial support provided by the Cotzias Fellowship enabled me to develop my research direction and I believe that holding such a prestigious award was of tremendous value to me in establishing collaborations and relationships within the PD research community.”

APDA was founded in 1961 with the dual purpose to Ease the Burden - Find the Cure for Parkinson's disease. In that time, APDA has raised and invested more than $87 million to fund research, patient services and education, and elevate public awareness. As the country's largest Parkinson's grassroots organization, APDA aims to Ease the Burden for the more than one million Americans with Parkinson's disease and their families through a nationwide network of Chapters, Information and Referral (I&R) Centers, and support groups. APDA pursues its efforts to Find the Cure by funding Centers for Advanced Research and awarding grants to fund the most promising research toward discovering the cause(s) and finding the cure for Parkinson's disease.

APDA has had a hand in funding most of the PD scientific discoveries in the last 50 years including the work of Dr. 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 work of Dr. Lawrence Golbe and his team, which led to the discovery of a mutation in the gene alpha-synuclein, named PARK1.

Through its research funding, APDA is able to attract young scientists who are new to the PD field, fund promising research that provides a pipeline to the future and fund pilot demonstration projects that are routinely leveraged for further funding. APDA is proud that many recipients of the Cotzias Fellowship have achieved leadership roles and department chairmanships at distinguished academic and clinical institutions. Some of these include:

  • James Bennett Jr., MD, PhD – Virginia Commonwealth University
  • David Eidelberg, MD – North Shore University Hospital
  • J. Steven Fink, MD – Boston University
  • John Growdon, MD – Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Serge Przedborski, MD – Columbia University
  • David Standaert, MD, PhD – University of Alabama – Birmingham
  • Ray L. Watts, MD – University of Alabama – Birmingham
  • G. Fredrick Wooten, MD – University of Virginia

APDA grants are awarded through a competitive application process and reviewed by APDA's Scientific Advisory Board (SAB). The SAB is comprised of scientists with nationally recognized expertise in a variety of leading edge research areas within the field of Parkinson's disease. A rigorous review and scoring process of the applications is conducted by the SAB when it convenes annually to review the proposals. In order to be considered for funding, only applications which meet the highest quality are recommended for approval by the SAB. Scoring of the grants includes three major areas of criteria including: overall significance and impact in the field of Parkinson's disease, the appropriateness of the principal investigator and the academic and scientific environment for the proposed project, and the feasibility of the proposed budget and time period for completion.

Applications are also open for APDA’s Research Grants, Post Doctorial Awards and Summer Fellowships. For complete details and to apply visit

Application deadline for all APDA funding in academic year 2016-2017 is March 11, 2016.
Heather Gray | 1-800-223-2723 | HGray(at)apdaparkinson(dot)org |

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Heather Gray
since: 06/2013
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American Parkinson Disease Association
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