The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research has announced forty-nine grants totaling $8.8 million in support of studies focused on defining, measuring, and treating the disease and developing tools and resources that enable progress across the field.
In support of efforts to better define the biology and experience of Parkinson's, grants totaling $1 million were awarded to four research teams, including one led by Lalitha Madhavan at the University of Arizona that is working to develop patient-derived skin cells (fibroblasts) and dopamine neurons for use in developing promising treatments and biomarkers for Parkinson's. In the area of measuring disease risk, onset, and progression, the foundation awarded grants totaling $2.8 million in support of twenty-nine projects, including a second grant to a team led by Stella Sarraf at Amydis, Inc. that is developing a non-invasive way to detect Parkinson's disease by imaging clumps of the protein alpha-synuclein in the eye's retina.
The foundation also awarded grants totaling $4 million in support of five studies focused on treatment of the underlying disease and its symptoms, including a University of Kentucky study led by David Yurek aimed at determining whether gene therapy could be used as a treatment for Parkinson's. And with the goal of enabling progress across the spectrum of Parkinson's research, eleven grants totaling more than $1 million were awarded in support of efforts to develop new research tools.
(Image credit: Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research)