The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research has announced fifty-three grants totaling more than $8 million in support of research and efforts to develop tools for the field.
The funding includes eight grants totaling more than $3 million in support of projects aimed at understanding the causes of Parkinson's disease, its progression, and factors that account for its variability. Recipients include a team of researchers at the University of Toronto that is working to analyze the brains of Parkinson's patients with and without genetic mutations to understand similarities and differences in the effects of the disease, and researchers at the University of Sydney who are investigating how the activity of certain genes that increase risk for Parkinson's are related to increased levels of inflammation.
Grants also were awarded in support of researchers at the University of Dundee in Scotland working to develop a tool that can measure activity in a pathway associated with mutations in two genes that increase risk for early-onset Parkinson's; scientists at San Francisco-based Denali Therapeutics, who are examining blood samples to determine if levels of LRRK2 protein measurable in blood vary by time of day and whether such variances are different in people without Parkinson's; and a team at Harvard Medical School that is working to develop a therapy using induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) to replace midbrain cells that produce dopamine.