The New York City-based Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research has announced grants totaling nearly $1 million to four researchers.
The foundation's Cell Replacement Therapy program awards grants to researchers investigating the therapeutic potential of stem cell replacement therapy, including poor survival and function of stem cell-derived dopaminergic neurons after transplantation into the brain. One of the grants, awarded to Dr. Jun Takahashi of Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine, will support a study designed to replicate the successful transplantion of monkey (rather than human) embryonic stem cells into monkeys. A second grant, awarded to Xuejun Wen of Clemson University, will fund a project to try to investigate strategies to minimize the immune or inflammatory response that results from implanting stem cells.
"Focused work in this area is an essential next step for stem cell research in Parkinson's disease," said foundation president and CEO Deborah W. Brooks. "We've made cell transplantation a top priority because we view it as a high-potential avenue of Parkinson's disease research that is currently underfunded by the federal government."
For a complete list of the recipients, see: http://www.michaeljfox.org/research/grants.php?id=20.