Currently Funded Grants

Currently Funded Grants

The Parkinson’s Foundation invested $3.5 million across 34 research grants to support the work of promising scientists in the field of Parkinson's disease (PD) in 2020. 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 $350 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 (see the full list below).

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

2019 Parkinson’s Foundation's research grants recipients include:

Parkinson’s Foundation Research Centers | totaling $8,000,000

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

Columbia University
Differential neuronal susceptibility as an avenue toward disease-modifying therapy for Parkinson’s
Serge Przedborski, MD, PhD

University of Florida
LRRK2-Synuclein Interactions with Gut Inflammation in PD Pathogenesis
Malú Gámez Tansey, PhD

University of Michigan
The Thalamus in Parkinson Disease
Roger L. Albin, MD

Yale School of Medicine
Endolysosomal Dysfunction in Parkinson's Disease
Pietro De Camilli, MD

Independent Investigator Awards | totaling $2,392,500

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

Stanley Fahn Junior Faculty Awards | totaling $1,200,000

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

  • Determining the role of microglial LAG3 in Parkinson's disease, Xiaobo Mao PhD, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
     
  • Freezing of gait in Parkinson's disease: From development of predictive algorithms to testing novel therapeutics, Tuhin Virmani MD, PhD, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences 
     
  • Understanding LRRK2 GTPase function in Parkinson’s disease, Yulan Xiong PhD, Kansas State University
     
  • Deciphering the role of calcineurin in the modulation of the growth cone proteins BASP1 and GAP-43 at presynaptic terminals in response to alpha-synuclein toxicity, Gabriela Caraveo Piso, PhD, Northwestern University

 Clinical Research Awards | totaling $600,000

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

  • Modulation of the inflammatory response in Parkinson’s disease, Giulietta Maria Riboldi, MD, New York University School of Medicine
     
  • Parkinson's disease susceptibility in carriers of lysosomal storage disorder variants, Laurie Robak MD, PhD, Baylor College of Medicine
     
  • Large-scale deep cognitive endophenotyping of Parkinson’s disease: A platform development and feasibility study, Madeleine Sharp MD, McGill University

Impact Awards | totaling $350,000

Funds innovative Parkinson’s research

  • Revitalizing Cognition and Motor Symptoms in Parkinson Disease: A pilot study with near infrared stimulation, Dawn Bowers PhD, University of Florida
     
  • Targeting Complex-1 Deficits in Parkinson's Disease, Matthew James LaVoie PhD, Brigham and Women's Hospital
     
  • Peripheral Immune System regulation of PD pathology in LRRK2 mutant mice, Richard Smeyne, PhD, Thomas Jefferson University (supplemental award)

Innovations Award | totaling $200,000

Parkinson’s Study Group, Michael Schwarzschild, MD, PhD, Massachusetts General Hospital

Conference Award | totaling $42,500

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

  • Ophthalmologic Features of Parkinson's Disease - Examining Standards of Diagnosis and Management, Marta Fabrykowski OD, FAAO, MEETH Ophthalmology, Northwell Health 
     
  • The Krembil Knowledge Gaps in Parkinson’s Disease Symposium, Anthony E. Lang OC, MD, FRCPC, FAAN, FCAHS, FRSC, Toronto Western Hospital
     
  • The International Parkinson’s Disease Genomics Consortium (IPDGC) annual meeting, Huw Morris PhD FRCP, University College London

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

Supports and trains young investigators

 Institutional MDS Fellowship Award | totaling $813,193

Trains neurologists to become experts in PD care and research

  • Columbia University: Chi-Ying Lin, MD, MPH
  • Emory University: Margi Patel, MBBS 
  • Northwestern University: Niccolò Emanuele Mencacci, MD, PhD 
  • Rush University: Roshni Patel, MD 

2019 Postdoctoral Fellowship | totaling $490,000

Prepares future leaders in Parkinson’s research

  • Role of Motor Thalamus in Levodopa Therapy for Parkinsonism
    Daniel Laurence Albaugh, PhD, Emory University
     
  • Network-based imaging biomarkers in Parkinson’s disease with genetic risk factors
    Katharina Schindlbeck, MD, Feinstein Institute for Medical Research - Center for Neurosciences
     
  • Rescue of Parkinson’s disease related neuronal defects by LRRK2 and Rab GTPase substrates
    Vijay Singh, PhD, University of Alabama at Birmingham
     
  • Assessing the requirement for LRRK2 in mitochondrial metabolism, the immune response, and outcome of bacterial infection
    Catherine Weindel, PhD, Texas A&M Health Science Center

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

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

Markers of Neuroinflammation and Phenotype Correlation in patients with Parkinsonism, Natalie Witek, MD, Rush University (Mentor: Deborah A. Hall, MD, PhD) 

Collaborative Fellowships | totaling $393,000

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

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-American Brain Foundation Clinical Research Training Scholarship in Parkinson’s Disease | $300,000

  • Anna Goodheart, MD, Massachusetts General Hospital
  • David Coughlin, MD, Pennsylvania Hospital

Parkinson’s Foundation-Parkinson Study Group Mentored Clinical Research Award | $50,000

Visual symptoms and quality of life in Parkinson’s disease, Ali G. Hamedani, MD, MHS, University of Pennsylvania

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

  • Niam Abeysiriwardena, Lake Forest College (Mentor Shubhik DebBurman, PhD)
  • Rajiv Sai Dharnipragada, University of Minnesota (Mentor: Joshua Aman, PhD)
  • Carmen Domínguez, Brigham and Women’s Hospital (Mentor:  Xianjun Dong, PhD) 
  • David Guarin, Massachusetts General Hospital (Mentor: Xiqun Chen, MD, PhD)
  • Huai-Ying Huang, Montreal Neurological Institute (Mentor: Edward Fon, MD)
  • Ashwin Mahesh, Mayo Clinic Jacksonville (Mentor: Pamela McLean, PhD)
  • Caroline McLaughlin, Emory University (Mentor: Malu Tansey, PhD)
  • Karina Nabieva, Toronto Western Hospital (Mentor: Connie Marras, MD, PhD)
  • Jean-Louis Angelo Parmasad, University of Ottawa (Mentor: Maxime Rousseaux, PhD)
  • Shankar Pattabhiraman, University of Pennsylvania (Mentor Virginia M.-Y. Lee, PhD)
  • Florencia Scaglia Drusini, BS, University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine (Mentor: Marissa Dean, MD)
  • Alexandra Zinnen, University of Wisconsin-Madison (Mentor: Marina Emborg, MD, PhD)

Visiting Scholar Awardees | totaling $20,000

  • Sidney Baudendistel, MS, Current Institution and Mentor: University of Florida, Christopher Hass, PhD; Host Institution and Mentor: The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Jason Franz, PhD
     
  • María Florencia Alamos, MD, Current Institution and Mentor: Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Romulo Fuentes Flores, PhD; Host Institution and Mentor: Western Ontario University, Mandar Jog, MD, FRCPC
     
  • Sayan Dutta, BS, MS, Current Institution and Mentor: Purdue University, Jean-Christophe Rochet, PhD; Host Institution and Mentor: The University of PhAlabama at Birmingham, Laura Volpicelli-Daley, PhD
     
  • Diptaman Chatterjee, BS, Current Institution and Mentor: Rush University, Jeffrey Kordower, PhD; Host Institution and Mentor: Neural Stem Cell Institute, Anne Messer, PhD

2019 Special Support for Meetings | totaling $9,000

Provides support for PD-related meetings

  • Cell Biology of Neurodegeneration Symposium, Co-organizers: Francesca Bartolini, PhD and Franck Polleux, PhD
     
  • 7th Biennial Workshop on Dystonia and Parkinson’s Disease: Cellular and Molecular Targets for Novel Therapeutics, Scientific Committee: Hyder A. Jinah, MD, Nicola B. Mercuri, MD, Antonio Pisani, MD, PhD, David G. Standaert, MD, PhD, Jan Teller, PhD
     
  • Synuclein Meeting 2019: Where we are and where we need to go, Conference Co-chairs: Tiago Mestre, MD and Tiago Outeiro, PhD 

mail icon

Subscribe here to get the latest news on treatments, research and other updates.