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Michael J. Fox Foundation Awards $1 Million to Drive Critical New Research Tools and Technologies in Parkinson's Drug Development
Date:2/9/2010

NEW YORK, Feb. 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As part of its mission to do whatever it takes to speed development of life-transforming treatments and a cure for Parkinson's disease, The Michael J. Fox Foundation announced $1 million in total funding for seven research projects aiming to push forward critical research tools and new technologies to accelerate PD therapeutic development.

While new genetic and cellular targets have invigorated Parkinson's research over the past decade, converting these discoveries into practical treatments requires deliberate and strategic investment in the development of new research technologies and tools. This pursuit is critical to attaining the Foundation's ultimate goal: transformative new treatments that will make a tangible impact on patients' lives.

Five funded teams are working to develop improved pre-clinical disease models of PD that accurately mimic the pathology and symptoms of Parkinson's as it arises and progresses in humans. These models are critical not only for testing potential new Parkinson's treatments, but also for opening new therapeutic avenues to address particular clinical features of the disease.

Jim Greene, MD, PhD, of Emory University has been funded by MJFF since 2006 to develop an accurate model of gastrointestinal (GI) dysfunction, such as nausea, bloating and constipation, in Parkinson's. These symptoms of PD are poorly understood, and there is a dearth of treatment options to address them, in part because researchers lack a model that could be used to test new therapies. Dr. Greene is heading a collaboration between neurologists and GI specialists to examine the 'enteric nervous system' (ENS) -- a nervous system located in the stomach and intestines that contains, in both humans and pre-c
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SOURCE Michael J. Fox Foundation
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