First-Ever Diversity-Focused Research Grant Among Fresh Crop of Grants Awarded by the American Parkinson Disease Association

First-Ever Diversity-Focused Research Grant Among Fresh Crop of Grants Awarded by the American Parkinson Disease Association
From Levodopa-induced dyskinesias to modeling Parkinson’s disease progression, $1.4 million in innovative research to be funded for 2020 – 2021 year
NEW YORK, NY – September 1, 2020 – The American Parkinson Disease Association (APDA) has just awarded $1.4 million to support cutting-edge Parkinson’s disease (PD) research for the 2020-2021 funding year. Investigating everything from deep brain stimulation to the genetics of PD, these researchers are among the most dedicated and innovative in the PD field. Grants have been awarded in the form of three Post-Doctoral Fellowships; five Research Grants; APDA’s first-ever Diversity in Parkinson’s Disease Research grant; and eight APDA Centers for Advanced Research. With someone diagnosed with PD every nine minutes, this research is critical as we push for better treatments and ultimately, a cure.
The new APDA Diversity in Parkinson’s Disease Research grant is the direct outcome of the first-of-its-kind Diversity in Parkinson’s Disease Research Conference hosted by APDA in May 2019. “The APDA Diversity in Parkinson’s Disease Research Conference explored the unique and urgent needs surrounding PD in diverse and under-represented communities” commented David G. Standaert, MD, PhD, John N. Whitaker Professor and Chair of Neurology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, School of Medicine, and Chairman of APDA’s Scientific Advisory Board. “We are proud to award the first grant of this kind to encourage and support a researcher who is committed to diversity-focused research so we can learn more about how the disease affects different populations and ultimately better serve people with PD from all communities.”
All APDA grants are awarded through a competitive application process and reviewed by APDA’s Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) which is comprised of scientists with a wide array of backgrounds and expertise in all areas relevant to PD research. The SAB meets annually to review all grant proposals and set the scientific direction of APDA’s annual research investment. “APDA is steadfast in our research focus – identifying and supporting researchers early in their careers to encourage them to either commence or continue dedicating themselves to PD research, as well as to help established investigators pursue new and novel ideas” states Rebecca Gilbert, MD, PhD, Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer, APDA. “We are excited for these researchers to commit themselves to their work and have hope for meaningful outcomes that can make a difference for people living with PD.”
The 2020-2021 APDA Research Grants
APDA Diversity in Parkinson’s Disease Research Grant:

Chantale Branson, MD, Morehouse School of Medicine
Understanding racial demographics of Parkinson’s disease among African Americans

Post-Doctoral Fellowships are awarded to support post-doctoral scientists whose research holds promise to provide new insights into the pathophysiology, etiology and treatment of PD. This year’s awardees are:

April Darling, PhD, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Engineering therapeutic TRIM11 disaggregases
Judit Pallos, PhD, Oregon Health and Science University
Mechanisms of LRRK2-induced neurodegeneration
 Monika Sharma, PhD, The Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Systems biology of a novel neuronal mitochondrial mechanism: relevance to Parkinson’s disease therapies

Research Grants are awarded to investigators performing innovative

Content provided by the American Parkinson Disease Association

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