PDF Awards $5 Million for Parkinson’s Research

The Parkinson’s Disease Foundation (PDF) is pleased to announce $5 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 as those most likely to impact the lives and futures of people touched by Parkinson’s.

Research Centers- $2.56 Million

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

Columbia University Medical Center
Un Jung Kang, M.D., Principal Investigator, 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., Jill S. Goldman, M.S., M.Phil., Lloyd A. Greene, Ph.D., Paul E. Greene, M.D., Sheng-Han Kuo, M.D., Ph.D., Elan D. Louis, M.D., M.Sc., Karen Marder, M.D., M.P.H., Pietro Mazzoni, M.D., Ph.D., Eugene Mosharov, 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
Christopher G. Goetz, M.D., Principal Investigator, Brandon R. Barton, M.D., M.S., Bryan A. Bernard, Ph.D., Cynthia L. Comella, M.D., Jennifer G. Goldman, M.D., M.S., 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., Kalipada Pahan, Ph.D., Kathleen M. Shannon, M.D., Glenn T. Stebbins, Ph.D.

Weill Cornell Medical Center
M. Flint Beal, M.D., Principal Investigator, Claire Henchcliffe, M.D., D.Phil., Chaorui Huang M.D., Ph.D., Alexander Shtilbans, M.D., Ph.D.

Advancing Parkinson’s Treatments Grants: $176,500

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

Innovations Awards | $150,000

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

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

Conference Awards | $26,500

International Symposium on Falls in PD
Leland Dibble, P.T., Ph.D., University of Utah, Gammon M. Earhart, P.T., Ph.D., Washington University School of Medicine, Colleen Canning, Ph.D., University of Sydney, Theresa Ellis, P.T., Ph.D., Boston University

West Coast Conference: Determining Factors in PD Progression Rate
Marie-Françoise Chesselet, M.D., Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles


International Research Grants: $825,000

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

Epigenetic Dysregulation in Levodopa-Induced Dyskinesia 
David Anderson, Ph.D., and Jay Schneider, Ph.D.,Thomas Jefferson University

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

Elucidation of the Role of Cholinergic Interneurons in Levodopa-Induced Dyskinesias
Tomas Björklund, Ph.D., Lund University, Sweden

Dissecting the Different Properties of Human Alphasynuclein Between Dopamine and Non-Dopamine 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, Australia

Interaction of LRRK2 and Tau in Mediating Neurodegeneration in Mouse Models of Parkinson's Disease 
Darren Moore, Ph.D., Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland

Identifying Connectivity Changes with Deep Brain Stimulation in Parkinson’s Disease
Matthias Schröeter, M.D., Ph.D., and Karsten Müller, Ph.D., Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Germany

Imaging Impulsive Control Disorders in Parkinson’s
Antonio Strafella, M.D., Ph.D., Toronto Western Hospital, Canada

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


Fellowship & Career Development Awards: $1.24 Million

Prepare leaders in Parkinson’s research and clinical practice.

Research Fellowship Projects | $190,000

Optogenetic Characterization of the Pallidostriatal Synapse in Parkinsonian Mice
Kelly Glajch, Ph.D., Northwestern University

Characterization of a Novel Component That Functions Upstream of PINK1 Linking Mitochondrial Unfolded Protein Stress to Mitophagy
Yi-Fan Lin, Ph.D., Sloan-Kettering Institute

Role of Parkin in the Clearance of Defective Mitochondria with Deleted mtDNA: A New Mouse Model of Parkinson's Disease
Milena Pinto, Ph.D., University of Miami

Clearing Defective Mitochondria: How is Parkin Recruited and Activated?
Evgeny Shlevkov, Ph.D., Children's Hospital Boston


Clinical Training Fellowships | $891,000

Rush University Medical Center
Gian Pal, M.D., Padmaja Vittal, M.D.

Columbia University Medical Center
David Arkadir, M.D., Ph.D., Meir Kestenbaum, M.D., Ruben Martinez, M.D., Daphne Robakis, M.D., David Rydz, M.D., Hiral Shah, M.D., Madeleine Sharp, M.D., Brenton Wright, M.D.

Summer Student Fellowships | $60,000

Towards Elucidating the Structural Details of Alphasynuclein in Parkinson’s Disease: Development and Application of Double-Labeled Alpha-synuclein 
Solongo Batjargal, mentor E. James Petersson, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania

Mechanistic Investigation of Alpha-synuclein- Mediated Microglial Activation in PD
Connor Davenport, mentor Kathleen Maguire-Zeiss, Ph.D., Georgetown University

Effects of Training on Learning and Retention of Tool-Related Skilled Action in Parkinson's Disease
Holly Fernandes, mentor Norman Park, Ph.D., York University, Canada

A Novel Evaluation of Daytime Vigilance in Individuals with Parkinson's Disease Using a Virtual Reality Street Crossing Task
Kristin Ford, mentor Amy Amara, M.D., Ph.D., University of Alabama at Birmingham

Investigating the Role of Enzyme-Mediated Neuronal Protection in Parkinson's Disease
William Johnson, mentor Amy Wilson-Delfosse, Ph.D., Case Western Reserve University

Evaluation of Splice and C-terminal Truncation Variants of Alpha-synuclein in Yeast Models
Natalie Kukulka, mentor Shubhik DebBurman, Ph.D., Lake Forest College

Effects of Alpha-synuclein Immunotherapy in a Mouse Model of Parkinson's Disease
Eric Lin, mentor Virginia M.-Y. Lee, Ph.D., Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Using Drosophila to Investigate the Synaptic Effects of Ziram, a Parkinson’s Disease-Linked Pesticide
Ciara Martin, mentor David Krantz, M.D., Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles

Rescue of Tyrosine Hydroxylase by Soluble GFR Alpha-1 in 6-OHDA Parkinson’s Model
Catherine Owens, mentor Michael Salvatore, Ph.D., Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center Shreveport

Comparing Diagnostic Criteria of Mild Cognitive Impairment over Three Year Follow-up in People with Parkinson’s Disease without Dementia
William Reginold, mentor Connie Marras, M.D., Ph.D., Toronto Western Hospital

The Utilization of Mobile Technology for the Optimization of Deep Brain Stimulation Parameters for the Treatment of Postural Stability
Sarah Richardson, mentor Jay Alberts, Ph.D., Cleveland Clinic

The Effect of Unilateral vs. Bilateral Deep Brain Stimulation of the Subthalamic Nucleus on Memory-Guided Sequential Pointing
Ruth Tangonan, mentor Daniel Corcos, Ph.D., University of Illinois at Chicago

Comparison of a Bimanual and Unimanual Finger Tapping Test for Detection of Upper-Limb Movement Variability and Freezing Episodes in Parkinson's
Megan Trager, mentor Helen Bronte-Stewart, M.D., M.S.E., Stanford University

Phenotype-Specific Cell Loss in the Human Olfactory Bulb Associated with Parkinson’s Disease
Ava Weibman, mentor John Cave, Ph.D., Burke Medical Research Institute

Evaluation of Peripheral Olfactory Adaptation as a Potential Biomarker for Parkinson’s Disease
Wendy Yoder, mentor David Smith, Ph.D., University of Florida


Collaborative Fellowships | $102,500

PDF-ABF Clinician-Scientist Development Award | $52,500 (per year for three years)

(co-sponsored by American Brain 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)

Neurophysiology Adaptations to Tango Dancing in Individuals with Parkinson's Disease*
Kristen Pickett, Ph.D., mentors Gammon M. Earhart, P.T., Ph.D., and Joel Perlmutter, M.D., Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis


Côté Clinical Genetics Initiative: $220,000

Supports research to identify and understand the role of genetic markers in Parkinson’s.

Implications of Antigen Presentation by Dopaminergic Neurons in an AAV2-synuclein Mouse Model of Parkinson's Disease
Carolina Cebrián, Ph.D., mentor David Sulzer, Ph.D., Columbia University Medical Center

Amperometric Measurement of Quantal Dopamine Release from Primary Mouse Neurons and Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSCs)
Se Joon Choi, Ph.D., mentor Eugene Mosharov, Ph.D., Columbia University Medical Center

Effect of Alpha Synuclein on MAM Functionality*
Cristina Guardia-Laguarta, Ph.D., mentor Serge Przedborski, M.D., Ph.D., Columbia University Medical Center

Molecular Characterization of MAPT Haplotypes in Parkinson’s Disease
Oren Levy, M.D., Ph.D., mentor Lloyd A. Greene, Ph.D., Columbia University Medical Center

*Denotes second year of funding

Back to Contents for Summer 2013 News & Review