2017-18 Funded Research

Funded Research for 2017-18

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.

Xu Hou, PhD

Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, FL
Activation and progression of mitochondrial quality control in Parkinson’s disease and atypical Parkinsonian disorders.


Md. Shariful Islam, PhD

Van Andel Research Institute, Center for Neurodegenerative Science, Grand Rapids, MI
Role of Synaptojanin-1 phosphorylation in LRRK2-induced neurodegeneration in Parkinson’s disease.


Isabel Lam, PhD

Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA
Functional investigation of rare genetic variants in Parkinson’s disease.


An Phu Tran Nguyen, PhD

Van Andel Research Institute, Grand Rapids, MI
Elucidating the contribution of GTPase activity to mutant LRRK2-induced neurodegeneration 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.

Joseph DeGutis, PhD, and Alice Cronin-Golomb, PhD

Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA
Attentional Intervention to Improve Non-Motor and Motor Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease.


Xianjun Dong, PhD

Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
Cracking the Code of Chromosome 17q21 for Parkinson’s: From GWAS to Novel Drug Targets.


Michael L. Gross, PhD, Professor of Chemistry, Immunology, Medicine

Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO
Mapping alpha-synuclein fibril formation by novel biophysical methods.


Andreas H. Kottmann, PhD

CUNY School of Medicine at the City College of New York, New York City

Validation of the G-protein coupled receptor Smoothened as a target for ameliorating L- Dopa induced dyskinesia.


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.


Xiaobo Mao, PhD

The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
Human iPSC-Derived Neuronal Models of Parkinson’s Disease and Related Therapeutic Strategy.


Ignacio F. Mata, PhD

Seattle Institute for Biomedical and Clinical Research, Seattle, WA VA Puget Sound Health Care System/University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Next-Generation Sequencing of Parkinson’s Genes in Understudied Latin American Populations.


Rahul Srinivasan, PhD

Texas A&M University Health Science Center, College Station, TX
Molecular mechanisms of neuroprotection by nicotine in Parkinson’s disease.


Yulan Xiong, PhD

Kansas State University (KSU), Manhattan, KS
 Functional analysis of LRRK2 enzymatic activities with aging.


Talene Yacoubian, MD, PhD

University of Alabama at Birmingham, School of Medicine, Birmingham, AL
Rab27b as a potential regulator of alpha-synuclein spread.


Tonya Zeczycki, PhD

Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University, Greenville, NC
Identifying the consequences of transglutaminase 2 (TG2)-mediated posttranslational modifications on α-synuclein oligomerization.



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 2017 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.

Sam Boroumand (Undergraduate)

Mentor: Robert Thorne, PhD
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Proof-of-concept study for the development of non-invasive immunotherapy for Parkinson’s disease: intranasal targeting of immunoglobulin G antibodies to the central nervous system (CNS)

Carolina Cao (Undergraduate)

Mentor: Meghan Campbell, PhD
Washington University School of Medicine

Brain Atrophy and the progression of congnitive decline in Parkinson’s disease.

Isabel Fan (Undergraduate)

Mentor: C. Savino Chan, PhD
Northwestern University

Role of lactate shuttling in motor control through energetic support of Gpe neurons.

Dima Hage (Undergraduate)

Mentor: David Park, PhD
University of Ottowa

The interaction of two Parkinson’s disease genes FBX07 and PINK1.

Yong Hu (M.D., PhD, Student)

Mentor: Un Jung Kang, MD
Columbia University

Modulating SNr neuronal activity in PD and LID.

Sarah Kang

Mentor: Aasef Shaikh, MD, PhD
Louis Stokes Cleveland Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center

Characterizing Microsaccades as a Novel Diagnostic Biomarker for Parkinson’s disease.

Rebekah Langston (Medical Student)

Mentor: Mark Cookson, PhD
National Institutes of Health

Differences in stability, activity, and mutation effects between human and mouse LRRK2.

Lotus Lum (Undergraduate)

Mentor: Scott Oakes, MD
University of California San Francisco

Using human Neurons to delineate the role of Unfolded Protein Response in Parkinson’s disease.

Aarathi Minisandram (Medical Student)

Mentor: Todd Herrington, PD, PhD
Massachusetts General Hospital

Electrophysiologic Mapping of Cortical Networks Activated by Dorsal vs. Ventral Subthalamic Nucleus Deep Brain Stimulation.

Zhen – Yi Andy Ou (Undergraduate)

Mentor: Madeleine Sharp, MD, MSc
Montreal Neurological Hospital 

Effect of Levedopa on the consolidation of learning in patients with Parkinson’s disease.

CheyAnne Rivera (Undergraduate)

Mentor: William Dauer, MD
University of Michigan – Ann Arbor

Examining Nuclear Membrane Abnormalities in a Symptomatic Dystonia Model.

Caroline Yu (Medical Student)

Mentor: Yaping Joyce Liao, MD, PhD
Stanford  School of Medicine

Novel Neuro-ophthalmic Clinical Markers for Parkinson’s disease.


IN THE NEWS

APDA Awards $1.5 Million in Research Grants. 

Click here to read the Press Release

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