PDF Awards $5.3 Million for Parkinson’s Research

The Parkinson’s Disease Foundation (PDF) is pleased to announce $5.3 million in Parkinson’s research awards. Recipients are chosen by members of our Scientific Advisory Board, which is made up of leading scientists joined by representatives of the Parkinson’s Advocates in Research program. These advisors have deemed the following projects — which represent only 10 percent of those submitted for funding — as those most likely to impact the lives and futures of people touched by Parkinson’s.

Research Centers | $2.38 Million

Allow talented scientists the flexibility and long-term support to collaborate on basic, translational and clinical research.

Columbia University Medical Center
Roy N. Alcalay, M.D., M.Sc.
Robert E. Burke, M.D.
Lorraine N. Clark, Ph.D.
Stanley Fahn, M.D.
Blair Ford, M.D.
Lloyd A. Greene, Ph.D.
Paul E. Greene, M.D.
Elan D. Louis, M.D., M.Sc.
Karen Marder, M.D., M.P.H.
Pietro Mazzoni, M.D., Ph.D.
Serge Przedborski, M.D., Ph.D.
Seth L. Pullman, M.D., F.R.C.P.C.
Yaakov Stern, Ph.D.
David Sulzer, Ph.D.
Jean Paul G. Vonsattel, M.D.
Cheryl H. Waters, M.D. F.R.C.P.C.
Ai Yamamoto, Ph.D.

Rush University Medical Center
Brandon R. Barton, M.D., M.S.
Bryan A. Bernard, Ph.D.
Cynthia L. Comella, M.D.
Jennifer G. Goldman, M.D., M.S.
Christopher G. Goetz, M.D.
Deborah A. Hall, M.D., Ph.D.
Katie Kompoliti, M.D.
Jeffrey H. Kordower, Ph.D.
Leo Verhagen-Metman, M.D., Ph.D.,
T. Celeste Napier, Ph.D.
Kathleen M. Shannon, M.D.
Glenn T. Stebbins, Ph.D.
Kalipada Pahan, Ph.D..

Weill Cornell Medical Center
M. Flint Beal, M.D.
Claire Henchcliffe, M.D., D.Phil.


International Research Grants | $1.16 Million

Promote innovative research projects that have high potential to significantly advance the knowledge of Parkinson’s.

Stability of Tetrameric Alpha-synuclein as a Biomarker in Parkinson’s Disease
Tim Bartels, M.Sc., Ph.D., and Dennis J. Selkoe, M.D., Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Evaluating the Role of Mitochondrial Dynamics in Parkinson's Disease in an In Vivo Vertebrate Model: Real-Time Live Imaging of Mitochondrial Dynamics in Dopamine Neurons in Whole Zebrafish*
Sarah B. Berman, Ph.D., M.D., and Edward Burton M.D., D.Phil., F.R.C.P., University of Pittsburgh

Impact of Low- and High-Frequency Electrical Stimulation on the Inputs, Integrative Properties and Output of the Subthalamic Nucleus*
Mark D. Bevan, Ph.D., Northwestern University

Dissecting the Different Properties of Human Alphasynuclein Between Dopamine and Nondopamine Neurons in Vivo
Linan Chen, M.D., Ph.D., and Xiaoxi Zhuang, Ph.D., University of Chicago

Cellular Mechanisms of Semaphorin 3E-Plexin-D1 Signaling in Basal Ganglia Circuitry Formation and Neurodegenerative Diseases
Chenghua Gu, D.V.M., Ph.D., Harvard Medical School

Identification and Characterization of a Novel Gene for Parkinsonism
Paul Lockhart, Ph.D., and Gabrielle Wilson, Ph.D., Bruce Lefroy Centre, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Royal Children's Hospital

Small Aromatic Molecules as Novel Inhibitors of Alpha-Synuclein Aggregation*
Daniel Segal, Ph.D., Tel Aviv University, Israel

Cyclic GMP Signaling and Experimental Parkinsonism
Anthony R. West, Ph.D., and Kuei-Yuan Tseng, M.D., Ph.D., Rosalind Franklin University

Identification of Genes for Parkinson's in an Isolated Greek Community and a Greek Population Cohort*
Georgia Xiromerisiou, Ph.D., M.D., University of Thessaly, Greece, and Henry Houlden, M.D., M.R.C.P., Ph.D., University College, London, England


Fellowship and Career Development Awards | $1.38 Million

Prepare leaders in Parkinson’s research and clinical practice.

Research Fellowship Projects | $190,000

Regulation of Alpha-synuclein mRNA Translation in SNCA Expressing Neurons
Ianai Fishbein, Ph.D., Institute for Human Genetics, University of California, San Francisco

Dopaminergic Neuron Subtype Differences in OXPHOS Capacity and Mitophagy in Response to mtDNA Damage
Alicia Pickrell, Ph.D., Division of Intramural Research, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)

The Role of Parkin in Regulating Mitochondrial Dynamics and Homeostasis in Cortical and Dopaminergic Neurons*
Victor Van Laar, Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh

Locus Coeruleus as a Substrate for Parkinsonian Cognitive Inflexibility*
Elena Vazey, Ph.D., Medical University of South Carolina

Clinical Training Fellowships | $822,000

Rush University Medical Center
Houman Homayoun, M.D.
Gian Pal, M.D.
Sheila Rane, M.D.

Columbia University Medical Center
David Arkadir, M.D., Ph.D.
Christopher W. Hess, M.D.
Ruben Martinez, M.D.
Madeline Sharp, M.D.
Sirinan Tazen, M.D.
Tuhin Virmani, M.D., Ph.D.
Brenton Wright, M.D.

Summer Student Fellowship Projects | $45,000

LRRK2-dependent Olfactory Deficits in Mice
Rachel Bailey, mentor Jada Lewis, Ph.D., University of Florida

Small Molecule Modulation of the Unfolded Protein Response as a Novel Therapeutic Avenue in the Treatment of Parkinson's Disease
Joel Credle, mentor Anita Sidhu, Ph.D., Georgetown University

CD200/CD200R-mediated Neuroinflammation in Parkinsonism
Collin Flanagan, mentor J. Timothy Greenamyre, M.D., Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

Comparative Effectiveness Study to Evaluate In-Home Telemedicine as a Means to Increase Access to Sub-specialty Care for Individuals with Parkinson's Disease
Benjamin George, mentor E. Ray Dorsey, M.D.,M.B.A., Johns Hopkins University

Effect of p11 Inhibition on D1 and D2 Dopamine
Receptors Activity
Darya Khazanova, mentor Michael G. Kaplitt, Ph.D., M.D., Weill Cornell Medical College

Dopamine Receptor Expression and Function in the External Globus Pallidus
David Klein, mentor C. Savio Chan, Ph.D., Northwestern University

Study of the Roles and Mechanisms of PINK1 and Parkin in Mitophagy
Paul Lebot, mentor Serge Przedborski, M.D., Ph.D., Columbia University Medical Center

The Molecular Interaction of Non-catechol Drugs with Dopamine D1 Receptors: Towards Improved Therapy for Parkinson’s Disease
Sang Min Lee, mentor Richard Mailman, Ph.D., The Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine

Interactions Between Tyrosine Hydroxylase and 14-3-3 Protein
Ewa Nowara, mentor S. Colette Daubner, Ph.D., University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

Mild Cognitive Impairment and Health-Related Quality of Life in Non-demented Parkinson's Disease Patients
William Reginold, mentor Connie Marras, M.D., Ph.D., Toronto Western Hospital

Dissecting the Role of c-Abl in Parkinson's
Andi Shahu, mentor Ted Dawson, M.D., Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Neuropsychological Predictors of Disease

Progression in Early Onset Parkinson’s Disease
Megha Subramanian, mentor Paul J. Eslinger, Ph.D., The Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine

The Characterization of Autophagy in MPP+-induced
Dopaminergic Cells
Eric Tsai, mentor Karen O'Malley, Ph.D., Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis

Molecular Mechanisms by Which Excess Synuclein Impairs Synapse Function: Implications for Parkinson’s
Alexandra van Brummen, mentor Jennifer Morgan, Ph.D., The University of Texas at Austin

Protection of Dissociated Rat Substantia Nigra Cultures from MPP+ Toxicity by a Combination of Neurotrophic Factors
Stephanie Wyrostek, mentor Michael J. Zigmond, Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh

Collaborative Fellowships | $105,000

PDF-AANF Clinician-Scientist Development Award | $55,000 (per year for three years)
(co-sponsored by American Academy of Neurology Foundation)
Mechanisms of Cell Type-Specific Vulnerability in Synucleinopathy: A Yeast Stem Cell Dual Discovery Platform
Vikram Khurana, M.D., Ph.D., Massachusetts General Hospital

PDF-PSG Mentored Clinical Research Award | $50,000
(Funded by a grant from PDF to the Parkinson Study Group)
Award to be named


Advancing Parkinson's Treatments Grants | $200,000

Facilitate the movement of treatments from “bench to bedside.”

Innovations Awards | $150,000

Training of New Parkinson’s Clinical Research Investigators through PSG Annual Meeting
Parkinson Study Group

Datamining to Better Understand Parkinson’s Disease Progression, Treatment Response, Complications and Outcomes
Parkinson Study Group

Conference Awards | $50,000

Cognitive Assessment for Parkinson's Disease in Multi-Cultural/Linguistic Populations
Ignacio Mata, Ph.D., James. B. Leverenz, M.D., G. Stennis Watson, Ph.D., and Cyrus P. Zabetian, M.D., M.S., University of Washington

Impulse Control Disorders in Parkinson’s
Antonio Strafella, M.D., Ph.D., F.R.C.P.C., University of Toronto, and Mark A. Stacy, M.D., Duke University

Additional grant to be named

Côté Clinical Genetics Initiative| $200,000

Awards to be named

*Denotes second year of funding