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Currently Funded Grants

The Parkinson’s Foundation invested $6.2 million across 58 research grants to support the work of promising scientists in the field of Parkinson's disease (PD) in 2018. Grants support Parkinson’s research at Centers, clinical training for neurologists, and research funding for scientists who actively study various aspects of Parkinson’s with the hope of making life better for people with the disease and eventually finding a cure.

Since 1957, the Parkinson’s Foundation has invested more than $330 million in Parkinson’s disease research and clinical care. Foundation research investments are selected through a competitive application process and reviewed by its Scientific Advisory Board, which includes scientific experts and Foundation-trained patient advocates.

2018 Parkinson’s Foundation's research grants recipients include:

Parkinson’s Foundation Research Centers | totaling $1,900,000

Supports the innovative team’s scientific approach to Parkinson’s research
Columbia University: Un Jung Kang, MD
Rush University: Christopher Goetz, MD

Independent Investigator Awards | totaling $2,010,309

Supports critical funding to cutting-edge Parkinson’s research initiatives

Stanley Fahn Junior Faculty Scholars | totaling $900,000

Provides critical funding to early career scientists to further their PD research

  • Lipidomic Analysis in Genetic and Idiopathic Parkinson’s, Roy Alcalay, MD, Columbia University
  • Lipid Phase Separation as a Regulator of Alpha-synuclein Toxicity, Tim Bartels, PhD, University College London, UK
  • Deconstructing the Neuronal Metabolism-Mitochondria Axis in Dopaminergic Neurodegeneration, Gulcin Pekkurnaz, PhD, University of California, San Diego

Clinical Research Awards | totaling $600,000

Funds clinician-scientists to conduct clinical research in Parkinson’s

  • Investigating the Role of GBA in the Propagation of Lewy bodies in Parkinson’s, Marie Davis, MD, PhD, VA Puget Sound
  • Changes in levels, phosphorylation, and kinase activity of LRRK2 in biofluids from patients with idiopathic or alpha-synuclein linked Parkinson’s disease, Dimitra Papadimitriou, MD, PhD, Biomedical Research Foundation, Academy of Athens, Greece
  • The Use of vitamin K2 in Patients with Mitochondrial PD: Concept evaluation in a magnetic resonance (spectroscopy) imaging-based placebo controlled parallel group trial, Jannik Prasuhn, MD, University of Luebeck, Germany
  • A Specific and Less Toxic Alpha-Synuclein Strain Is A Possible Progression Biomarker for Parkinson’s Disease-Related Cognitive Impairment, Liana Rosenthal, MD, Johns Hopkins University

Impact Awards | totaling $251,399

Funds innovative Parkinson’s research

  • Prodromal Symptoms in the Sister Study, Honglei Chen, MD, PhD, Michigan State University
  • Peripheral Immune System Regulation of PD Pathology in LRRK2 Mutant Mice, Richard Smeyne, PhD, Thomas Jefferson University

Incidence and Mortality in Parkinson’s Disease Initiative | totaling $228,766

Supports the analysis of public health data to identify trends in who is affected by PD each year

  • Connie Marras, MD, PhD, University Health Network
  • G. Webster Ross, MD, Pacific Health Research and Education Institute
  • Rodolfo Savica, MD, James H. Bower, MD, Mayo Clinic
  • Stephen Van Den Eeden, PhD, Kaiser Permanente
  • Allison W. Willis, MD, MS, University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine
  • Eric Roberts, MD, PhD, Public Health Institute

Innovations Award | totaling $370,000

Supports the largest network of Parkinson’s clinical trial centers in North America
Parkinson’s Study Group, Michael Schwarzschild, MD, PhD, Massachusetts General Hospital

Conference Award | totaling $75,000

Funds the convening of a group of experts to move the field forward on a specific PD topic

  • International Parkinson’s Disease Genomics Consortium, Joshua M. Shulman, MD, PhD, Baylor College of Medicine
  • Luxembourg German Indian Alliance on Neurodegenerative Diseases and Therapeutics, Manu Sharma, PhD, Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research
  • Gordon Research Conference on Parkinson’s Disease, Chair: J. Timothy Greenamyre, MD, PhD; University of Pittsburgh, Co-chair: Malu Tansey, PhD; Emory University

Parkinson’s Advocates in Research Leadership Awards | totaling $38,923

Pairs the Parkinson’s community with scientists to conduct patient-centered research

  • Parkinson's Diversity Recruitment for Research, Tammyjo Best, LPN, Emory University
  • Boxing to Improve Sleep Quality and Daytime Sleepiness in Parkinson's: A Pilot Study, Linda Denney, PT, PhD, MAppSc, Northern Arizona University
  • The Impact of Three Distinct Exercise Types on Fatigue, Anxiety, and Depression, in Parkinson's Disease, Mary S. Feldman, DO, Premier Clinical Neuroscience Institute
  • Online Voice Class for Hispanics with PD, Meredith Fonseca, MA, CCC-SLP, Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center

Fellowships and Early Career Awards| totaling $1,939,410

Supports and trains young investigators

Institutional MDS Fellowship Award | totaling $1,106,410

Trains neurologists to become experts in PD care and research

  • Columbia University: Lynda Nwabuobi, MD
  • Emory University: Sahyli Perez Parra, MD
  • Johns Hopkins University: Bonnie Kaas, MD
  • Rush University: Alana Kirby, MD, PhD
  • Toronto Western Hospital: Gerald Raimon M. Saranza, MD
  • University of Florida: Matthew Burns, MD, PhD

2018 Postdoctoral Fellowship | totaling $660,000

Prepares future leaders in Parkinson’s research

  • Thalamic Targets of the substantia nigra An area of the brain, part of the basal ganglia, where cells produce dopamine. Pars Reticulata in Modulation of Parkinson's And Levodopa-Induced Dyskinesias, Stephanie Alberico, PhD, Columbia University (Mentor: Un Kang, MD)
  • Temporal Changes in Beta Frequency Oscillations Predict Behavior, Ross Anderson, PhD, Stanford University (Mentor: Helen Bronte-Stewart, MD)
  • Environmental Mitochondrial Toxins Induce LRRK2 Kinase Activity, Briana De Miranda, PhD, University of Pittsburgh (Mentor: J. Timothy Greenamyre MD, PhD)
  • LRRK2-ATP13A2 Interaction in Parkinson's Pathways, Madalynn Erb, PhD, Van Andel Research Institute (Mentor: Darren Moore, PhD)
  • Brain Mechanisms Underlying Response to Visual Cues for Gait Impairment in PD, Samuel Stuart, PhD, Oregon Health and Science University (Mentor: Martina Mancini, PhD)

Collaborative Fellowships | totaling $93,000

Parkinson’s Foundation-Howard Hughes Medical Institute | $43,000
Determining the Role of The Basal Ganglia in Motor Sequence Learning and Vigor Representation in Natural and Parkinsonian States, Tori Riccelli, BS, Mayo Clinic School of Medicine

Parkinson’s Foundation-Parkinson Study Group Mentored Clinical Research Award | $50,000
Genetic Dissection of Clinical Heterogeneity in Parkinson’s, Emily Hill, MD

Parkinson’s Foundation-APDA Summer Student Fellowship | totaling $60,000

Providing students interested in Parkinson’s with an opportunity to conduct research

  • Characterizing the Neuronal Internalization and Spreading of Different Conformers of α-Synuclein, Nadia M. Anabtawi, University of Alabama at Birmingham (Mentor: Laura Volpicelli-Daley, PhD)
  • Investigation of α-Synuclein Propagation and Neurodegeneration in LRRK2-knock-in Mutant Mice, Sidhanth Chandra, University of Alabama at Birmingham (Mentor: Andrew West, PhD)
  • Neuronal Extrusion of Aggregates and Mitochondria from Dopaminergic Neurons, Wai-Kit Chia, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey (Mentor: Monica Driscoll, PhD)
  • Subthalamic Nuclei Gamma Frequency Deep Brain Stimulation for Parkinsonian Non-Human Primate, Michelle Chu, University of Minnesota (Mentor: Gregory Molnar, PhD)
  • Diminishing Microglial Activation Targeting Cdc42 in PD: Therapeutic Approach for Experimental Parkinsonism, Elsa Clinton, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain (Mentor: Carlos Barcia, PhD)
  • Evaluation of Combinatorial Impact of Post-Translational Modifications on α-Synuclein in a Yeast Model, Yoan Petrov Ganev, Lake Forest College (Mentor: Shubhik DebBurman, PhD)
  • Classifying Stages of Sleep using DBS Leads in place of EEG, Ethan Tyler Marshall, University of Minnesota (Mentor: Luke Johnson, PhD)
  • Mechanisms of Cardiac Sympathetic Axonal Degeneration, Helen Nanette Matsoff, University of Wisconsin-Madison (Mentor: Marina Emborg, MD, PhD)
  • Air Pollution, Inflammation, and Parkinson's Disease, Ashley Park, University of California, Los Angeles (Mentor: Jeff Bronstein, PhD, MD)
  • ParkinSMART: Parkinson's Disease Symptom Monitoring and Recording Technology, Dakota Peacock, Kelowna General Hospital (Mentor: Daryl Wile, MD)
  • Preliminary Research into Automatic Speech Analysis, Richard Edward Richter, Northwestern University (Mentor: Angela Roberts, PhD)
  • Resolving the Mystery of Illegal Omissions: Language-Motor Interactions in Real Time Language Production in Parkinson's, Deepikaa Sriram, Northwestern University (Mentor: Angela Roberts, PhD)

Visiting Scholar Awardees | totaling $20,000

Allows researchers opportunity to travel to a new laboratory to learn new skills applicable to their PD research

  • Molecular Imaging of Neurodegenerative Disease - Mitochondria, Associated Proteins & Synapses - Parkinson's (MIND-MAPS-PD), Silvia Caminiti, MSc, King’s College London (Mentor: Marios Politis, MD, PhD)
  • Characterization of Midbrain Specific KRAB Zinc Fingers in Parkinson’s, Hojin Kang, MS, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (Mentor: Ted Dawson, MD, PhD)
  • Genome-Wide Association Study of REM Sleep Behavior Disorder and its Progression to PD, Lynne Krohn, National Institutes of Health (Mentor: Andrew Singleton, PhD)
  • Whole Exome Sequencing as a Diagnostic Tool For Complex Movement Disorders, Marta Ruiz-Lopez, University Hospital of Schleswig-Holstein (Mentor: Christine Klein, MD)

2018 Special Support for Meetings | totaling $12,500

Provides support for PD-related meetings

  • 2018 Basal Ganglia Gordon Research Conference, Conference Chair: Mark Bevan, PhD
  • ASNTR 2018 Student Travel Awards, Educational Chair: Fredric Manfredsson, PhD
  • International Tremor Conference, Course Directors: Sheng-Han Kuo, MD; and Elan D. Louis, MD, MS, Columbia University Medical Center
  • International Parkinson & Movement Disorder Society, Neuroscience of Movement Disorders, Course Director: David Standaert, MD, PhD
  • Grand Challenges in Parkinson’s Disease Meeting, Conference Chair: Patrik Brundin, MD, PhD
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