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Matt Farrer, Ph.D.

"Because of your support, PDF has twice supported my work as a Parkinson’s neuroscientist and geneticist."

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Genes May Hold the Answer

Because of your support, PDF has twice supported my work as a Parkinson’s neuroscientist and geneticist. This holiday season, I want to let you know how your donations are making a difference.

Making a Difference … by Studying the Genetics of Parkinson’s

When I was a child visiting the psychiatric institution where my mother worked, I saw firsthand that people received medications to suppress their symptoms, rather than to fix the problems underlying their disease.

I thought to myself, there's got to be a better way than this.

Matt Farrer, because of you

Years later, working as a scientist, I found in PDF a shared commitment to solving the puzzle underlying Parkinson’s disease.

When I applied for funding from PDF, the method of genetic mapping my team proposed was far from proven, but PDF’s scientific advisors gave us the benefit of the doubt. With this funding, our team discovered a gene called VPS35 that is linked to Parkinson’s disease in a small group of people with inherited PD.

Without PDF’s support we would never have found this new gene.

While only a few people who live with Parkinson’s carry this gene mutation, understanding VPS35 and what it does may help to unravel the causes of PD in everyone.

Your continued support will make a difference in whether we solve this mystery.

Matthew Farrer, Ph.D.
PDF-funded researcher, 2004 and 2011
Canada Excellence Research Chair in Neurogenetics and Translational Neuroscience, University of British Columbia


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If you have or believe you have Parkinson’s disease, then promptly consult a physician and follow your physician’s advice. This email is not a substitute for a physician’s diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease or for a physician’s prescription of drugs, treatment or operations for Parkinson’s.