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Michael J. Fox Foundation Commits up to $6.5 Million in Funding for Critical Challenges in Parkinson's Disease
Date:4/1/2009

NEW YORK, April 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research announced that it would make up to $6.5 million in total funding available under three Critical Challenges research programs designed to accelerate solutions to some of the most difficult hurdles standing in the way of breakthrough therapeutics for PD.

The Critical Challenges funding opportunities focus research efforts on key priority areas in Parkinson's disease drug development. Priority challenges are chosen based on their relevance for addressing broader Foundation goals: define Parkinson's disease and its progression, alter the disease course and reduce its symptoms. The first 2009 Challenges are:

  • Clinicopathological Correlations of Parkinson's Disease will drive projects to understand the clinicopathological correlates of Parkinson's disease using extensive clinical data and postmortem tissue from normal control, PD and related disease subjects. Applicants will collaborate with the Arizona Parkinson's Disease Consortium, an existing MJFF grantee that has developed an exceptional bank of well-characterized postmortem tissue and associated clinical data.
  • Understanding LRRK2 Biology seeks proposals with potential to alter disease course by increasing understanding of the role of the gene LRRK2 in Parkinson's disease and developing essential tools to facilitate and accelerate research and therapeutic development efforts around this promising new therapeutic target. Ideal proposals will work to shed light on critical questions surrounding LRRK2, such as how LRRK2 pathogenic mutations directly lead to in vivo functional and pathological outcomes, and which cellular pathways LRRK2 normally and/or abnormally functions in.
  • Postural Instability and Gait Disorders will drive efforts to better treat PD symptoms by clarifying the pathophysio
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SOURCE Michael J. Fox Foundation
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