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Michael J. Fox Foundation Awards $2.5 Million for Parkinson's Drug Development Projects Led By Academic Investigators

NEW YORK, Jan. 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research has awarded $2.5 million total for seven Parkinson's drug development projects. The funding was awarded under a special, one-time academic funding track of the Foundation's industry-focused Therapeutics Development Initiative.

By funding academic projects under the Therapeutics Development Initiative, the Foundation aims to leverage the increasing sophistication of university-based drug discovery/development programs. While academic labs historically have focused the lion's share of their attention on basic research to identify drug targets, it is becoming ever more common for university investigators to engage in translational research efforts. Today, increasing numbers of academic centers are in possession of the core resources and expertise to conduct the highly specialized studies that can keep therapeutic hits moving forward toward clinical testing and patients.

As with all MJFF grants, full funding is dependent on the achievement of predetermined, specific milestones and on researchers' agreement to make the results of their work available to the Parkinson's research community.

Funded projects are listed below. Detailed information, including grant abstracts and researcher bios, is available at

Modified miRNAs Targeted at Alpha-synuclein as PD Therapy

Asa Abeliovich, MD, PhD, Columbia University

Pre-clinical Characterization of 5-HT1A/1B Receptor Agonists for the Treatment of L-DOPA-induced Dyskinesia

Manolo Carta, PhD, Lund University, Sweden

Novel Alpha-synuclein Isomers as Immunogens for Immunotherapy of Parkinson's Disease

Rowen Chang, PhD, and Chuantao Jiang, MD, PhD, University of Texas Medical School at Houston

Characterization and Validation of a C.Elegans LRRK2 Model of PD

Shu Chen, PhD, and Amy Wilson-Delfosse, PhD, Case Western Reserve University

Effects of KCNQ (Kv7) Channel Openers in Levodopa-induced Dyskinesias Angelika Richter, PhD, Freie Universitat Berlin, Germany

Identification of a Novel Calcium Selective Antagonist for Neuroprotection in PD

D. James Surmeier, PhD, and Richard Silverman, PhD, Northwestern University

Structural and Chemical Approaches to Understand and Modulate LRRK2 Kinase Activity in Parkinson's Disease

Zhenyu Yue, PhD, Ming-Ming Zhou, PhD, and Iban Ubarretxena-Belandia, PhD, Mount Sinai School of Medicine

About The Michael J. Fox Foundation

Founded in 2000, The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research is dedicated to ensuring the development of a cure for Parkinson's disease within the coming decade through an aggressively funded research agenda. The Foundation has funded over $137 million in research to date.

    Media: Holly Barkhymer
    (212) 509-0995 x242
    Research: Brian Fiske, PhD
    (212) 509-0995 x203

SOURCE Michael J. Fox Foundation
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