The Parkinson’s Disease Foundation (PDF) has recently opened applications for its eight grant programs, which will be granted to projects focused on solving, treating and ending Parkinson’s disease (PD). The foundation aims to use the research grants to support the studies of established leaders in the field, as well as fight the abandon of PD research by scientists in the beginning of their career due to lack of federal research funding.
The Parkinson’s Disease Foundation will attribute eight grants to the best applications focused on improving the lives of patients who suffer from Parkinson’s disease. “There are seven to 10 million people worldwide living with Parkinson’s who count on us to move science forward and come closer to ending the disease. We owe it to them to make it happen by ensuring that no good idea goes unstudied and no talented scientist is turned away from the fight,” explained the Vice President for Scientific Affairs at PDF, James Beck, PhD.
A new grant was added this year to encourage junior researchers at risk of abandoning the field, a moment known as “valley of death”. The new Stanley Fahn Junior Faculty Award is meant to help these investigators stay in Parkinson’s research. “PDF takes seriously its responsibility to stem the loss of early career scientists who are forced to abandon promising research ideas and careers far too soon,” said Beck.
The foundation will attribute the three-year awards, which are named after the Scientific Director and world recognized physician Stanley Fahn, MD, following revision of the projects. PDF believes that the grants will give new researchers the freedom to pursue cutting-edge scientific ideas, independent funding and ultimately the opportunity to commit to a career in the field of Parkinson’s disease. In addition to the grants, PDF is also going to attribute five fellowships to encourage career development and innovation among students and early career scientists and clinicians.
The full list of grants to be awarded include a $300,000 Stanley Fahn Junior Faculty Award for junior faculty members, $100,000 Postdoctoral Fellowships for Basic Scientists to be attributed during five years, three-year $110,000 Postdoctoral Fellowships for Clinical Neurologists, and PDF-APDA Summer Student Fellowships, which will grant $4,000 together with the American Parkinson Disease Association.
“As a person living with Parkinson’s, it is exciting to know that as PDF chooses its research investments, it takes into account not only the quality of the research, but also the priorities and urgency of those of us living with the disease,” said Anthony Geraci, MD, of Canandaigua, NY, who is both a member of the PDF People with Parkinson’s Advisory Council and a member of the PDF grant review committee. “PDF’s aggressive investment in early career scientists is a clear reflection of our community — one that is clamoring for more effective treatments today, but is also in need of talented scientists who can find the cure tomorrow,” he added.