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The Parkinson's Disease Foundation awards $950,000 in seed grants
Date:7/1/2008

(July 1, 2008, New York, NY) The Parkinson's Disease Foundation (PDF) is pleased to announce awards of $950,000 toward its 2008-2009 International Research Grants and Fellowship Program (IRGFP). The funding will support the research of 19 Parkinson's scientists, chosen on April 11 from a group of almost 100 candidates by a scientific review committee led by Stanley Fahn, M.D., PDF's Scientific Director.

This year's outstanding awardees, who hail from around the world, include two who are investigating paths to new potential therapies for Parkinson's disease (PD): Matthew Goldberg, Ph.D., and Sandra M. Lynch, Ph.D., M.Sc., M.B.A.

Dr. Goldberg, of the UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, TX, now in his second year as a recipient of IRGFP funding, continues his quest to develop an "animal model" for PD one that would reproduce the age-dependent progressive loss of dopamine-producing neurons that underlies the primary symptoms of Parkinson's.

"It is a great honor to be awarded this IRGFP grant," said Dr. Goldberg. "With the support of PDF, we are able to tackle some of the greatest challenges in Parkinson's research: understanding why dopamine neurons progressively die, and developing laboratory animals that spontaneously undergo progressive dopamine neuron loss by similar mechanisms. This would provide an enormously valuable tool for discovering and testing neuroprotective therapies for Parkinson's disease."

Because human clinical trials are very expensive and time-consuming, laboratory animals are needed to rapidly test novel treatments that might slow down or prevent the progressive loss of dopamine-producing neurons that results in Parkinson's. The lack of adequate animal models of progressive neuron loss in the area of the brain most affected in Parkinson's (known as the substantia nigra) has been a major impediment to discovering better treatments for PD.

To address this problem, Dr. Goldberg is wor
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Contact: Melissa Barry
mbarry@pdf.org
212-923-4700
Parkinson's Disease Foundation
Source:Eurekalert

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