Research projects receive $1.35 million from Parkinson's Disease Foundation

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The Parkinson’s Disease Foundation (PDF) last week awarded $1.35 million in research grants for 13 novel projects designed to find the cause(s) of and a cure for Parkinson’s disease. 

The projects were selected by PDF’s grant review committee, which is composed of scientific experts and lay advocates.

“There are two main factors Parkinson's Disease Foundation uses to determine to whom to award funding: potential impact towards understanding and curing Parkinson’s disease and scientific excellence,” said PDF’s director of research programs, James Beck, PhD. “However, I think PDF takes the rare approach in making these decisions by not only including scientists who are experts in Parkinson's but also people who live with the disease, members of our Parkinson's Advocates in Research program. By reaching a consensus with both groups, PDF feels it is best able to identify those ideas most worthy of support.”

Beck said PDF’s biggest goal in awarding the funding is to find ways to help those affected by Parkinson’s.

“The Parkinson’s Disease Foundation supports research and ideas that will improve the lives and futures of people touched by Parkinson’s,” he said.

The projects are supported via two key programs, the International Research Grants program and the Research Fellowships program, which respectively support “high-risk/high-reward” research and the work of scientists who are early on in their careers, according to a press release announcing the awards.

“PDF does our best to invest in a broad portfolio of research much like any good financial investor would do,” said Beck. “We are able to do this by taking another approach that I think is rare, which is to crowd source potential solutions – that is to rely on the grassroots scientific community, those experts with an intimate knowledge on how to tackle and improve our understanding of Parkinson's disease, to generate new research directions for our own scientific experts and patient advocates to judge.”

Each of the projects all takes a fresh look at Parkinson’s disease science and its symptoms.  For summaries of each one,

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