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Parkinson's Disease Foundation announces research awards totaling $1.2 million
Date:7/1/2010

(July 1, 2010, New York, NY) The Parkinson's Disease Foundation (PDF) is pleased to announce awards totaling $1.2 million for research projects designed to understand the cause(s) of and find a cure for Parkinson's disease (PD).

The awards will support the work of 15 leading scientists and are provided through two key PDF research programs, International Research Grants and Research Fellowship Grants. The first program seeks to fund "high-risk/high-reward" projects that may have a significant impact upon Parkinson's science; the second aims to support the projects of scientists who are in the early stages of their careers.

Stanley Fahn, M.D., PDF's Research Director, commented, "The work of this year's grantees is replete with original ideas for improving our understanding of Parkinson's disease at the most basic levels, and finding new approaches to treating it. We need to be sure that the best talent is attracted to the challenge of solving Parkinson's and helping those who live with it. Funding the promising projects of scientists and young fellows, an area in which PDF leads, is the best way to make this happen."

Among the scientists behind this year's research projects are James Maas, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of California, San Francisco and Leo J. Pallanck, Ph.D., of the University of Washington. With his fellowship, Dr. Maas will be conducting research into the role of dopamine, the neurotransmitter whose loss leads to Parkinson's symptoms. Through his studies into a process called dendritic dopamine release, he hopes to shed light on how the brain controls muscle movement and how the loss of that control develops in the course of Parkinson's.

Dr. Pallanck will use his research grant to investigate the potential of a surprising compound tobacco in saving the neurons lost in Parkinson's disease. He is searching for the exact chemical within tobacco that may protect neurons from the effects of Parkinson's.
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Contact: Melissa Barry
mbarry@pdf.org
212-923-4700
Parkinson's Disease Foundation
Source:Eurekalert

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