2016-17 Funded Research

Research We Funded in 2016-17

George C. Cotzias Fellowship

Named in honor of the scientist who had a critical role in developing Levodopa as a treatment for Parkinson’s, and awarded with the purpose of encouraging young Neurologists to follow in his footsteps. This fellowship is a $240,000 grant awarded over a three year period.

Vivek K. Unni, MD, PhD

Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR
Molecular mechanisms of Lewy body pathology-associated cell death in Parkinson’s disease



Post-Doctoral Fellowships

Awarded to support post-doctoral scientists whose research holds promise to provide new insights into the pathophysiology, etiology and treatment of Parkinson’s disease. This is a fellowship of $35,000 per year for one year.

Hazem Abdelkarim, PhD

University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
Structural and biophysical characterization of glycosphingolipids as direct cellular modulators of alpha-synuclein aggregation in Parkinson’s disease


Vinita Ganesh Chittoor, PhD

Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR
Effects of dietary amino acids and TOR signaling on Parkinson’s disease pathology


Mahsa Malekmohammadi, PhD

University of California, Los Angeles, CA
Cortical-subcortical motor network hypersynchrony in Parkinson’s disease



Research Grants

Awarded to investigators affiliated with and performing Parkinson’s disease research at major academic institutions across the United States. This is a grant of $50,000 per year for one year, renewable.

Shankar Chinta, PhD

Buck Institute for Research on Aging, Novato, CA
Pharmacological activation of TFEB using a small molecule promotes autophagic clearance of aggregated alpha-synuclein: Implications for Parkinson’s disease.


Fabio Demontis, PhD

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, TN
Investigating the common proteomic changes induced by aging and by LRRK2 mutations and their role in Parkinson’s disease.


Hannes Devos, PhD

Kansas University Medical Center, Kansas City, KS
Pupillary Response to Cognitive Workload in Parkinson’s disease


Beom-Chan Lee, PhD

University of Houston, Houston, TX
Validation of smartphone-based sensory augmentation technology for home-based balance training of people with Parkinson’s disease.


Ian Martin, PhD

Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, OR
Identifying pathogenic targets of G2019S LRRK2 in dopamine neurons


Coro Paisan-Ruiz, PhD

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY
Elucidating novel genetic mechanisms underlying autosomal recessive Parkinson’s disease


Matthew LaVoie, PhD

The Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA
The role of astrocytes in GCase-mediated alpha-synuclein metabolism



Summer Student Fellowships

Offer undergraduate and medical students $4,000 each in funding for Parkinson’s research projects to be conducted over a ten-week period over the summer. The 2016 funding is a collaboration between The American Parkinson Disease Association and the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation® (PDF®) to support research that will help solve, treat and end Parkinson’s disease.

Preston Ge

Mentor: Ted Dawson, MD, PhD
Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
Identifying Elements of the Transcriptional Regulatory Network of PARIS (ZNF746) Involved in Alpha-synuclein-Induced Neurodegeneration

Dima Hage

Mentor: David Park, PhD
University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada

The Interaction of Parkinson’s Disease Gene FBXO7 with Bag2

Kiana Khosravian

Mentor: Malú Tansey, PhD
Emory University, Atlanta, GA

DBH-ASYN Mouse Model, Effect of Inflammation in Gastrointestinal System

Sydney Lee

Mentor: Edward Fon, MD
McGill University, Montreal, Canada

The Role of the ESCRT Complex in a Vesicular Trafficking Pathway from Mitochondria to Lysosomes

Stuart McCarter

Mentor: Erik St. Louis, MD
Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN

REM Sleep Without Atonia Signatures Help Distinguish Between Synucleinopathy Disorders

Rachel Mikofsky

Mentor: David Sulzer, PhD
Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY

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, PhD
Lake Forest College, Lake Forest, IL

Relevance of Amino Acid Charge/Polarity in New Familial Mutants of Alpha-synuclein

Henry Resnikoff

Mentor: Marina Emborg. MD, PhD
University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI

Impact of Inflammation on Alpha-synuclein Expression in the Colonic Enteric Nervous System

Maya Silver

Mentor: Brad Racette, MD
Washington University, St. Louis, MO

Association Between Water Source and Incidental Parkinson’s Disease

Samuel Stanley

Mentor: Kim Caldwell, PhD
University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL

Investigation of Dopamine Neuron Degeneration as a Consequence of Microbiome-Derived Bacteria

Adina Wise

Mentor: Roy Alcalay, MD, MS
Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY

Parkinson’s Disease Penetrance in Obligate Carriers of SMPD1 Mutations

Kali Xu

Mentor: Kathleen Poston, MD, MS
Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CT

High Angular Resolution Diffusion Imaging Correlates of Cognitive Impairment in Parkinson’s


In the News

APDA Awards $1.6 Million in Research Grants. Prestigious Cotzias Fellowship Awarded.

Click here to read the Press Release

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