APDA And The Parkinson’s Disease Foundation announce Grant Funding To Cultivate Future Scientific Leaders


Expanding Opportunities for Emerging Parkinson’s Scientists

(New York, NY – July 6, 2016) The American Parkinson Disease Association (APDA) and the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation® (PDF®) are pleased to announce Summer Student Fellowship awards to support research that will help solve, treat and end Parkinson’s disease. APDA and PDF are investing in twelve Summer Student Fellowships offering undergraduate and medical students $4,000 each in funding for Parkinson’s research projects to be conducted over a ten-week period this summer.

“This innovative partnership supports our mutual focus to inspire and invest in young scientists at a critical time in their educational and professional careers. APDA is delighted to combine efforts with PDF to ensure talented medical students are provided with important seed funding that could lead to a long-term commitment to Parkinson’s research while potentially helping to unlock the mysteries of this complex and devastating disease that impacts millions of families worldwide,” said Leslie Chambers, President & CEO, APDA.

The following grants have been awarded:

Preston Ge, Mentor: Ted Dawson, M.D., Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University, Identifying Elements of the Transcriptional Regulatory Network of PARIS (ZNF746) Involved in Alpha-synuclein-Induced Neurodegeneration

Dima Hage, Mentor: David Park, Ph.D., University of Ottawa. The Interaction of Parkinson’s Disease Gene FBXO7 with Bag2

Kiana Khosravian, Mentor: Malú Tansey, Ph.D., Emory University, DBH-ASYN Mouse Model, Effect of Inflammation in Gastrointestinal System

Sydney Lee, Mentor: Edward Fon, M.D., McGill University, The Role of the ESCRT Complex in a Vesicular Trafficking Pathway from Mitochondria to Lysosomes

Stuart McCarter, Mentor: Erik St. Louis, M.D., Mayo Clinic, REM Sleep Without Atonia Signatures Help Distinguish Between Synucleinopathy Disorders

Rachel Mikofsky, Mentor: David Sulzer, Ph.D., Columbia University Medical Center, In Vivo Optical Measurement of Direct and Indirect Path Projection Neuron Activity in a Parkinson’s Disease Rodent Model with Treatment of L-DOPA and Cannabinoid Antagonists

Emily Ong, Mentor: Shubhik DebBurman, Ph.D., Lake Forest College, Relevance of Amino Acid Charge/Polarity in New Familial Mutants of Alpha-synuclein

Henry Resnikoff, Mentor: Marina Emborg. M.D., Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison, Impact of Inflammation on Alpha-synuclein Expression in the Colonic Enteric Nervous System

Maya Silver, Mentor: Brad Racette, M.D., Washington University, Association Between Water Source and Incidental Parkinson’s Disease

Samuel Stanley, Mentor: Kim Caldwell, Ph.D., University of Alabama Investigation of Dopamine Neuron Degeneration as a Consequence of Microbiome-Derived Bacteria

Adina Wise, Mentor: Roy Alcalay, M.D., M.S., Columbia University Medical Center, Parkinson’s Disease Penetrance in Obligate Carriers of SMPD1 Mutations

Kali Xu, Mentor: Kathleen Poston, M.D., M.S., Stanford University School of Medicine, High Angular Resolution Diffusion Imaging Correlates of Cognitive Impairment in Parkinson’s

This grant funding expands opportunities for these talented undergraduates and medical students to gain early exposure to careers in Parkinson’s by working with established leaders in the field. The collaboration between APDA and PDF reflects a shared commitment to cultivating students’ early interest and leadership in Parkinson’s research. It also expands the program by offering additional funding for qualified students to share their Parkinson’s research findings with the scientific community at relevant conferences.
“PDF and APDA share an urgency for improving the lives of the nearly one million people in the US living with Parkinson’s,” said Robin Anthony Elliott, President, Parkinson’s Disease Foundation. “We know that one important way of accelerating science to support the early-career researchers whose innovation is vital to our fight. PDF is committed to capturing the early interest of those researchers and welcoming them to the team ending Parkinson’s.”

Since 1984, APDA has funded more than 120 medical students through its Summer Research Fellowship program. Similarly, PDF has funded nearly 200 summer student fellows, who have gone on to a variety of careers in medicine, health care and basic research since 2002. These investments have not only enabled students to build their own research careers, but have also allowed students to contribute significantly to the Parkinson’s research of established scientists with whom they work.

To learn more about these awards visit www.pdf.org or contact PDF at (212) 923-4700 or grants@pdf.org.

About APDA Research Funding
In the 2016-2017 academic years APDA will invest nearly $2 million in research and has been a funding partner in most major Parkinson’s disease scientific breakthroughs since its founding in 1961. APDA maintains eight Centers for Advanced Research located in major academic and medical centers across the country. Post-Doctoral Fellowships and Research Grants are awarded annually to fund research being conducted by promising experienced and young scientists. APDA grants are awarded through a competitive application process and reviewed by APDA’s Scientific Advisory Board (SAB). The SAB is comprised of scientists with nationally recognized expertise in a variety of leading edge research areas within the field of Parkinson’s disease. To learn more about APDA funding visit https://www.apdaparkinson.org/research/what-we-fund/

About the American Parkinson Disease Association

The American Parkinson Disease Association (APDA) is the largest grassroots network dedicated to fighting Parkinson’s disease (PD) and works tirelessly to assist the more than 1 million Americans with PD live life to the fullest in the face of this chronic, neurological disorder. Founded in 1961, APDA has raised and invested more than $170 million to provide outstanding patient services and educational programs, elevate public awareness about the disease, and support research designed to unlock the mysteries of PD and ultimately put an end to this disease.

About PDF Research Programs

As part of the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation® (PDF®) strategy to cure Parkinson’s, PDF mobilizes leaders in the research community to help us more quickly solve, treat and end the disease. To date, PDF has invested $115 million in Parkinson’s research, which has advanced our understanding of Parkinson’s disease and improved millions of lives worldwide. PDF investments play an integral role in driving interdisciplinary research, advancing the careers of next-generation research leaders, shaping patient-centric research and disseminating scientific information throughout the research, health and patient communities, via our journal dedicated to understanding Parkinson’s disease, npj Parkinson’s Disease. PDF research investments are listed on the PDF website at www.pdf.org/results_funded.

About the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation

The Parkinson’s Disease Foundation® (PDF®) is a leading national presence in Parkinson’s disease research, education and public advocacy. We are working for the nearly one million people in the US who live with Parkinson’s disease by funding promising scientific research while supporting people living with Parkinson’s disease through educational programs and services. Since its founding in 1957, PDF has dedicated more than $115 million to fund the work of leading scientists throughout the world and nearly $50 million to support education and advocacy programs.



American Parkinson Disease Association
Stephanie Paul | Vice President Marketing & Development | 718-981-8062 | spaul@apdaparkinson.org

The Parkinson’s Disease Foundation® (PDF®)
Christiana M. Evers | Vice President, Communications | 212-923-4700 | cevers@pdf.org