American Parkinson Disease Association call for applicants for prestigious George C. Cotzias Memorial Fellowship to be awarded in 2015-2016.

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In its thirty-six year history, the American Parkinson Disease Association Cozias Fellowship has been awarded to only twenty-eight scientific investigators

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The American Parkinson Disease Association is pleased to announce the application process for this prestigious award is now open. The George C. Cotzias, MD Memorial Fellowship was developed by the American Parkinson Disease Association (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 to Ease the Burden - Find the Cure for Parkinson's disease. In that time APDA has raised and awarded more than $86 million to fund research, patient services and education, and to raise public awareness. As the country’s largest grassroots organization, APDA serves the more than 1 million Americans with Parkinson's disease and their families through a national network of chapters, Information and Referral (I&R) Centers, support groups, eight Centers for Advanced Research, and grants to fund the most promising research toward discovering the cause(s) and finding the cure for Parkinson’s.

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 research at Robert Wood Johnson Medical Center, 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 five recipients of the Cotzias Fellowship have achieved leadership roles and department chairmanships at distinguished academic and clinical institutions:

James Bennett Jr., MD, PhD – Virginia Commonwealth University
David Eidelberg, MD – North Shore University Hospital
J. Steven Fink, MD - Boston University
John Growden, 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

The SAB is composed of prominent panel of 12 of the country’s most respected neurologists and scientists in Parkinson’s disease research who each represent expertise in the major areas of the disease. 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.

Applications are also open for APDA’s Research Grants and Post Doctorial Awards. For complete details and to click here

Application deadline for all APDA funding in academic year 2015-2016 is April 1, 2015.

All grants are awarded through a competitive application process in which APDA’s SAB rigorously review all research applications, contemplate and debate 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.

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Stephanie Paul
American Parkinson Disease Association
since: 06/2010
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