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Parkinson’s Foundation to Host “World Without Parkinson’s” Symposium on Thursday, June 1 to Mark 60th Anniversary

Scientific Progress in Next 20 Years Due to Outpace the Last 200

New York, NY and Miami, FL — The Parkinson’s Foundation is hosting a cutting-edge scientific symposium, World Without Parkinson’s: A Look Into the Future, tomorrow, June 1, in New York City.  The forward-looking event marks the 200th anniversary of the publication of, “An Essay on the Shaking Palsy,” by James Parkinson and the 60th anniversary of the Parkinson’s Foundation.

“Parkinson’s Foundation investments have played a part in many of the major scientific advances of the past 60 years, improving lives worldwide.  Yet there are 10 million people living with Parkinson’s disease who urgently need better treatments and care,” said John L. Lehr, chief executive officer, Parkinson’s Foundation. “We mark our anniversary by reflecting on key successes and recommitting ourselves to creating a world without Parkinson’s disease.”

The symposium, geared for the scientific community, is chaired by Patrik Brundin, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the Center for Neurodegenerative Science and the inaugural holder of the Jay Van Andel Endowed Chair in Parkinson’s Research at the Van Andel Research Institute.

The program includes talks from leaders in the field, each of whom will answer the question, “How will your area of expertise help to create a world without Parkinson’s?”  Using interactive technology, the program will engage its scientific audience in finding answers.  It also features an intimate interview with world-renowned Parkinsonologist Stanley Fahn, M.D., of Columbia University Medical Center, Parkinson’s Foundation Center of Excellence.

“In 1817, James Parkinson transformed the field by putting Parkinson’s disease on the map,” said James Beck, Ph.D., chief scientific officer, Parkinson’s Foundation.  “Two hundred years later, the Parkinson’s Foundation is ready to transform the field again.  In fact, we predict scientific advances of the next 20 years will outpace those of the last 200.  At this symposium, we bring together innovators in research, technology and healthcare to make it happen.”

Tonight at its 60th anniversary gala, the Parkinson’s Foundation will present its most prestigious scientific honor, the James Parkinson Award, to Heiko Braak, M.D., of the Center for Biomedical Research, University of Ulm, Germany. The award recognizes his contribution in focusing the field on the spread of alpha-synuclein as a major factor in the progression of Parkinson’s.

“Never before in history have we known more about Parkinson’s than we do now.  This symposium is a starting point for the next two decades, during which I believe we can change the course of Parkinson’s as we know it today,” said Dr. Brundin.  “I applaud the Parkinson’s Foundation for bringing together innovators to improve care, diagnosis and treatment.”

Thanks to our corporate sponsors: Lundbeck LLC (Gold); Adamas (Silver); AbbVie, Inc. (Bronze); Sunovion (Bronze); Nature Publishing Group (Media Partner) and Concise (Technology Sponsor).

World Without Parkinson’s Faculty


Patrik Brundin, M.D., Ph.D., Van Andel Research Institute, Chair
Ray Dorsey, M.D., University of Rochester Medical Center
Michael S. Okun, M.D., University of Florida College of Medicine, Parkinson’s Foundation Center of Excellence
Beth-Anne Sieber, Ph.D., National Institutes of Health (federal liaison)


Bastiaan R. Bloem, M.D., Ph.D., Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Netherlands, Parkinson’s Foundation Center of Excellence
Dennis Boyle, M.S., IDEO
Elizabeth M. Bradshaw, Ph.D., Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Helen Bronte-Stewart, M.D., M.S.E., Stanford University
Alice Chen-Plotkin, M.D., Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Parkinson’s Foundation Center of Excellence
James Dahlman, Ph.D., Georgia Institute of Technology
Stanley Fahn, M.D., Columbia University Medical Center, Parkinson’s Foundation Center of Excellence
James Giordano, Ph.D., Georgetown University, Parkinson’s Foundation Center of Excellence
Dave Iverson, film producer and founding member, Patient Council, Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research
Max A. Little, Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Aston University
Haydeh Payami, Ph.D., University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine; Center for Neurodegeneration and Experimental Therapeutics
David Vaillancourt, Ph.D., University of Florida College of Medicine, Parkinson’s Foundation Center of Excellence
Laura A. Volpicelli-Daley, Ph.D., University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine; Center for Neurodegeneration and Experimental Therapeutics

About the Parkinson’s Foundation
The Parkinson’s Foundation is working toward a world without Parkinson’s disease.  Formed by the merger of National Parkinson Foundation and the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, the mission of the Parkinson’s Foundation is to invest in promising scientific research that will end Parkinson’s disease and improve the lives of people with Parkinson’s, and their families, through improved treatments, support and the best care.  For more information, visit or call (800) 4PD-INFO (473-4636).

About Parkinson's Disease
Parkinson's disease is a progressive neurological disorder that affects nearly one million people in the US and over 10 million worldwide.  Parkinson’s is the second most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer's and is the 14th leading cause of death in the US.  It is associated with a 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 and anxiety).  Although promising research is being conducted, there is currently no cure for Parkinson's disease.

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