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Clinician-scientists at The Neuro receive funding for Parkinson's and HIV research

This press release is available in French.

Clinician-scientists take a unique, integrated approach that is essential to advancing science and medicine. Problems encountered in the clinic inspire research and new findings from the labs are directly applied to patients' needs. The integrated model is a hallmark of the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital The Neuro, at McGill University and the MUHC and is now being replicated worldwide. Two clinician-scientists at The Neuro have been awarded grants today to further research on Parkinson's disease and HIV/AIDS.

Tag. You're it! Studying how an enzyme relates to Parkinson's disease

When the protein parkin functions properly it acts like a quality control officer, tagging other proteins that no longer work correctly for destruction. When there are mutations in the gene for parkin, this process no longer occurs efficiently, which causes cell death and leads to a familial form of Parkinson's disease. Dr. Edward Fon, Director, McGill Parkinson Program and clinician-scientist at The Neuro studies what regulates parkin's tagging process and the role a specific enzyme that removes tags may have in this process. Learning more about how this process is regulated could lead to new therapies for Parkinson's disease. Today, Dr. Fon receives the Porridge for Parkinson's (Toronto) Pilot Project Grant of $45,000 from Parkinson Society Canada's National Research Program.

Addressing complex issues related to aging, neurological decline in people living with HIV/AIDS

Treatments for HIV/AIDS have greatly improved the life expectancy and health of people infected. However, the virus and its treatment continue to have significant physical and mental health impacts, and those infected have high rates of co-morbid health conditions. Four new research teams that aim to help Canadians with HIV by examining the link between HIV and chronic health issues specifically related to aging and mental health will be awarded approximately $10 million today. These research teams will be funded through the CIHR HIV Comorbidity Research Agenda which was developed in collaboration with a number of partner organizations and designed to meet the priorities of people living with HIV. Dr. Lesley Fellows, Interim Chair, Department of Neurology & Neurosurgery and clinician-scientist at The Neuro receives $ 2.49 M to lead a team of experts in neuroscience, epidemiology, and HIV to carry out innovative, action-oriented research in order to improve brain health in HIV-infected individuals.


Contact: Anita Kar
McGill University

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