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The National Parkinson Foundation Invests in the Future of Parkinson's Research

Support Provided for the Next Generation of Movement Disorder Neurologists

MIAMI,FL — Continuing its commitment to invest in the future of Parkinson's research, the National Parkinson Foundation (NPF) announced today two new awards to support promising young Parkinson's disease researchers. With the support of The McCamish Charitable Fund, NPF awarded a fellowship for training neurologists in the field of movement disorders and a research grant to help young faculty to accelerate their scientific careers. 

"Today, young scientists are under more pressure than ever before.  Awards like these are critical in helping to encourage the next generation to pursue careers in scientific innovation in the treatment of Parkinson's disease," said Michael Okun, MD, NPF's National Medical Director. "The lab breakthroughs happening now will rely on the next generation of scientists to usher them through the FDA process and into widespread adoption."

The 2015 NPF McCamish Fellowship Award was presented to Joash T. Lazarus, MD, by the HFM Foundation. Dr. Lazarus is currently chief resident in neurology at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, GA, an NPF Center of Excellence. He was nominated by Stewart Factor, DO, Director of the Emory NPF Center of Excellence. The two-year clinical and research fellowship in movement disorders totals $120,000. 

"Due to the constriction in availability of research funding, it is increasingly difficult for young researchers to begin their careers with new ideas," said Peter Schmidt, PhD, NPF's Chief Information Officer and Vice President of Research and Professional Programs. "The best investment in future research innovation is to provide the support necessary for a young researcher to set aside time to conduct research."

The 2015 NPF McCamish Young Investigator Award was presented to James W. Maas, MD, PhD, by the MPM Foundation. Dr. Maas is currently an Assistant Clinical Professor in the department of neurology at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), an NPF Center of Excellence. He was nominated by Michael Aminoff, MD, Director of the UCSF NPF Center of Excellence. The year-long research award totals $25,000. 

NPF's Center of Excellence network, which includes Emory and UCSF, features world-renowned Parkinson's specialists focused on reaching across patient and professional communities to change the course of Parkinson's disease. The network serves more than 50,000 individuals diagnosed with Parkinson's. NPF has designated 41 Centers of Excellence around the world. To view a full listing of centers, visit www.parkinson.org/coe

About Parkinson's Disease (PD)
Affecting an estimated one million Americans and four to six million worldwide, PD is the second most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer's and is the 14th leading cause of death in the United States. It is associated with a progressive loss of motor control (e.g., shaking or tremor at rest and lack of facial expression) as well as non-motor symptoms (e.g., depression A mood disorder whose symptoms can include a persistent sad or empty mood, feelings of hopelessness or pessimism, irritability and loss of interest or pleasure in previously enjoyable activities. and anxiety A feeling of nervousness, worried thoughts and physical distress.). There is no cure for PD and 60,000 new cases are diagnosed each year in the United States alone.

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