Currently Funded Grants

Currently Funded Grants

The Parkinson’s Foundation invested $4.3 million across 29 research grants to support the work of promising scientists in the field of Parkinson's disease (PD) in 2021. 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. Click on each research study title to read more. 

Since 1957, the Parkinson’s Foundation has invested more than $400 million in Parkinson’s disease research and clinical care. Foundation research investments are selected through a competitive application process and reviewed by a committee consisting of scientific experts, including some of the Scientific Advisory Board members and Foundation-trained patient advocates.

2021 Parkinson’s Foundation’s Research Grants Recipients

Independent Investigator Awards | totaling $2,400,000

Support investigators with innovative scientific approach to Parkinson’s research

Stanley Fahn Junior Faculty Awards | 5 awards totaling $1,500,000

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

Lindsay Mitchell De Biase, PhD 
The Regents of the University of California, Los Angeles, CA 
Microglial mitochondria and selective dopamine neuron vulnerability

Mark Howe, PhD
Trustees of Boston University, Boston, MA 
Progressive and Acute Imbalances in Striatum-Wide Dopamine and Acetylcholine Signaling in Parkinson's Disease Models

Taraz Lee, PhD
The Regents of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 
Causal examinations of the attention-motor interface in gait and falls

Scott Fraser Owen, PhD
Stanford University, Stanford, CA
Cholinergic modulation of cognitive function in Parkinson’s Disease through striatal microcircuits

Tim Sampson, PhD
Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Interaction of pesticide exposure and the microbiome on Parkinson's disease

George G. Kaufman Impact Awards | 6 awards totaling $900,000

Fund innovative Parkinson’s research

Onur Basak, PhD
University Medical Center Utrecht, Netherlands
Single cell epigenomic analysis of the dopaminergic system

Wassim Elyaman, PhD
Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY
Unbiased Approach to Identify Antigen-Specific Immune Response in PD

Ellen Hess, PhD
Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Striatal sex differences in Parkinson's disease

Rafiq Huda, PhD
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Piscataway, NJ
Harnessing astrocyte neuromodulation for Parkinson's Disease

Juan Mena-Segovia, PhD, MD
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Newark, NJ
Plastic mechanisms driving excess inhibition of dopamine neurons in PD

Rick van der Vliet, PhD, MD
Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, Netherlands
The ABCD-Parkinson study

Fellowships and Early Career Awards | totaling $1,856,880 

Support and train young investigators

Institutional MDS Fellowship Awards | 5 awards totaling $988,880

Train neurologists to become experts in PD care and research

  • Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH - Hubert Fernandez, MD. Read more
  • The Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York, NY - Blair Ford, MD. Read more
  • University Health Network, Toronto, Ontario, Canada - Susan Fox, BM, PhD. Read more
  • University of Florida Foundation, Inc., Gainesville, FL - Christopher Hess, MD. Read more.  
  • Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD - Alexander Pantelyat, MD. Read more.  

Postdoctoral Fellowships | 7 awards totaling $868,000

Prepare future leaders in Parkinson’s research

Parkinson’s Foundation 2021 James R. “Jim Bob” Moffett, Sr. Postdoctoral Fellowship
Daniel Silverman, PhD
The Regents of the University of California, Berkeley, CA (Mentor: Yang Dan)
Sleep pressure accumulation in monoaminergic neurons and its dysregulation

Connor Duke Courtney, PhD
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL (Mentor: Savio Chan)
Astrocytic regulation of neuronal function in the external globus pallidus 

Aurelie de Rus Jacquet, PhD
Universite Laval, Quebec, Canada (Mentor: Francesca Cicchetti) 
Crosstalk at the blood-brain barrier: new insights into Parkinson's disease

Kyle Farmer, PhD
University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA (Mentor: Tim Greenamyre)
The role of USP30 in idiopathic PD

Beatriz Nielsen, PhD
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, CO (Mentor: Christopher Ford)
Striatal Cholinergic Transmission: challenging the DA-ACh balance hypothesis

Hui Ye, PhD
Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX (Mentor: Joshua Shulman)
Role of the retromer complex in the aging nervous system

Xiaowen Zhuang, PhD
The Regents of the University of California, San Francisco, CA (Mentor: Alexandra Nelson)
Circuit Mechanisms of Impulse Control Disorder in Parkinsonism

Collaborative Fellowships | totaling $44,000

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

Student Summer Fellowships | 11 awards totaling $44,000

2020 Parkinson’s Foundation’s research grants recipients include:

Independent Investigator Awards | totaling $1,868,525

Supports the innovative team’s scientific approach to Parkinson’s research

Stanley Fahn Junior Faculty Awards | totaling $893,525

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

  • Imaging Cholinergic Biomarker of Cognitive Decline in Parkinson's Disease Dementia
    Chuan Huang, PhD, Stony Brook University Health Science Center
  • The Role of Neurite Defects in LRRK2-mediated Neurodegeneration
    Ian Martin, PhD, Oregon Health & Science University
  • The Role of Sensory Deficits in the Neural Control of Balance during Walking in Parkinson's Disease
    Jan Hendrik Reimann, PhD, University of Delaware

Clinical Research Awards | totaling $600,000

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

  • Deep sleep in PD and its relationship to cognition and neurodegeneration
    Brian Berman, MD, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus
  • The link between antibiotic exposure and Parkinson's disease
    Gian Pal, MD, Rutgers University
  • Brain activity response to cueing for gait impairment in Parkinson's
    Samuel Stuart, PhD, University of Northumbria at Newcastle

Impact Awards | totaling $350,000

Funds innovative Parkinson’s research

  • Harnessing endogenous ADAR to repair the G2019S mutation in LRRK2
    Jin Billy Li, PhD, Stanford University
  • A diagnostic assay for Parkinson’s disease based on the analysis of body fluids
    Gültekin Tamgüney, PhD, Forschungszentrum Jülich (Research Center Jülich)
  • Preclinical studies of causal links between the microbiome and PD therapy
    Peter Turnbaugh, PhD, University of California, San Francisco

Conference Award | totaling $25,000

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

  • Planning for Prevention of Parkinson’s: A trial design symposium and workshop
    Grace Crotty, MD, Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Luxembourg-German-Indian Alliance on Neurodegenerative Diseases and Therapeutics (Lux-GIANT)
    Asha Kishore, PhD, Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology

Fellowships and Early Career Awards | totaling $1,826,193

Supports and trains young investigators

Institutional MDS Fellowship Award | totaling $915,494

Trains neurologists to become experts in PD care and research

  • Columbia University, Blair Ford, PhD
  • University of Florida, Christopher Hess, MD
  • Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Vikram Khurana, MD, PhD
  • Rush University, Aikaterini Kompoliti, MD
  • University of Rochester, Irene Richard, MD

Postdoctoral Fellowship | totaling $600,000

Prepares future leaders in Parkinson’s research

  • Cryo-electron tomography study of a lipid-transfer protein VPS13 in situ
    Shujun Cai, PhD, Yale University
  • Unravelling the potential of specialized allied health therapy for patients with Parkinson’s Disease
    Sirwan Darweesh, MD, PhD, Radboud University Medical Center
  • Dynamics of striatal dopamine and PKA signaling in parkinsonian mice
    Richard Roth, PhD, Stanford University
  • Role of LRRK2 activation in Parkinson’s disease-linked D620N VPS35 models
    Dorian Sargent, PhD, Van Andel Research Institute, Aikaterini Kompoliti, MD
  • Cognitive Correlates of Gait Impairment and Freezing in Parkinson's Disease
    Kevin Wilkins, PhD, Stanford University

Melvin Yahr Early Career Award in Movement Disorders Research | totaling $50,000

Created in honor of Dr. Melvin Yahr to support neurologists after residency

  • Vitamin B12 as a biomarker of LRRK2 PD penetrance and progression
    Grace Crotty, MD, Massachusetts General Hospital

Collaborative Fellowships | totaling $50,000

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

Student Summer Fellowship | totaling $50,000

  • Kristen Branes, University of California, San Diego (Mentor: Subhojit Roy, PhD)
  • Ananya Chakravarthy, Columbia University (Mentor: Rui Costa, PhD)
  • Claudia Giménez, Institut de Neurociències, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (Mentor: Carlos Barcia, PhD)
  • Meghan Heer, University of Ottawa, Faculty of Medicine (Mentor: Maxime Rousseaux, PhD)
  • Medha Krishnagiri, Rutgers University (Mentor: Brian Daniels, PhD)
  • Benjamin Lau, Swarthmore College (Mentor: Robert Edwards, MD, PhD)
  • Luke McKay, University of Alabama (Mentor: Guy Caldwell, PhD)
  • Rudmila Rashid, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania (Mentor: Nabila Dahodwala, MD)
  • Colin Ryan, Wilfrid Laurier University (Mentor: Quincy Almeida, PhD)
  • Marina Shaker, Toronto Western Hospital, University of Toronto (Mentor: Sarah Lidstone, MD, PhD)

Visiting Scholar Awardees | totaling $10,000

  • Investigating the role of astrocyte-specific glutamate transporters
    in preservation of nigral tyrosine hydroxylase following exercise in a rat hemi-Parkinson’s disease model

    Ella Kasanga, University of North Texas
  • Using CUT&RUN to determine the genome-wide binding of alpha-synuclein in a novel mouse model
    Haley Geertsma, University of Ottawa

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