Parkinson’s Foundation Invests $3.4 Million in Research Grants

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Grants support Parkinson’s disease researchers in all phases of research and discovery

MIAMI & NEW YORK – August 6, 2020 – The Parkinson’s Foundation today announced a $3.4 million investment across 34 research grants to advance promising Parkinson’s disease (PD) research. Grants support Parkinson’s research across a variety of disciplines for scientists who are actively studying various aspects of Parkinson’s with the hope of making life better for people with the disease and ultimately, leading to a cure.

“The Parkinson’s Foundation continues to provide these annual grant opportunities especially during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure that PD research can successfully move forward,” said John L. Lehr, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Parkinson’s Foundation. “These research grants are a critical to driving better patient outcomes and ensuring a better future for people with Parkinson’s disease.”  

Parkinson’s Foundation research grants fund a diverse array of research studies that provide pre and postdoctoral researchers with training opportunities, and established scientists and clinicians with the support to test innovative ideas that can lead to impactful research findings in the Parkinson’s field.

"With the support of the Parkinson's Foundation, we hope to better understand how the nervous system functions as it relates to people with advanced Parkinson’s disease experience freezing gait, an inability to move their feet, during demanding or particularly stressful situations,” said Kevin Wilkins, PhD, a postdoctoral grant recipient. “We hope to develop ways to identify those at risk of developing cognitive and walking impairments as their disease progresses and provide the key to better therapies."

This year the Foundation invested $450,000 in Impact Award programs. This award supports high-risk, high-reward projects that discover more about the biology of Parkinson’s and new treatments to people with Parkinson’s. Impact Award recipients received a maximum of $150,000 for approximately one year.

“These research grants allow us to better understand Parkinson’s disease and move the needle forward for better care and therapies for people with PD,” said James Beck, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer of the Parkinson’s Foundation. “We are thrilled to support these highly-promising grant recipients as they advance research towards a cure.”

Parkinson's Foundation research investments are selected through a competitive application process and peer-reviewed by a panel that includes scientific experts and Foundation-trained research advocates. Since 1957, the Foundation has invested more than $365 million in Parkinson’s research and clinical care.

Research award categories include: independent investigator awards, fellowships and early career awards, collaborative fellowships awards and Parkinson’s Foundation Research Centers awards. For more information about Parkinson’s Foundation research grants, visit Parkinson.org/Research

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About the Parkinson’s Foundation

The Parkinson’s Foundation makes life better for people living with Parkinson’s disease by improving care and advancing research toward a cure. In everything we do, we build on the energy, experience and passion of our global Parkinson’s community. For more information, visit www.parkinson.org or call (800) 4PD-INFO (473-4636).

About Parkinson’s Disease

Affecting nearly one million Americans and 10 million worldwide, Parkinson’s disease 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 and anxiety). There is no cure for Parkinson’s and 60,000 new cases are diagnosed each year in the United States alone.

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