MJFF Offering Webinar Series for Scientists and Clinicians

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by Mary Chapman |

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The Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF) is offering a new online Parkinson’s disease educational series aimed at researchers and clinicians.

Parkinson’s Disease Therapeutics Webinars, a free four-part series, starts June 16 and will feature presentations by leaders in Parkinson’s research and treatment development.

“We know people with Parkinson’s are counting on us to advance better treatments as quickly as possible,” Sohini Chowdhury, deputy CEO at MJFF , said in a press release. “Bringing the Parkinson’s research community together to share findings and ideas is a critical part of how we achieve that goal. This new webinar series reflects our unwavering commitment to drive research forward, even in the face of new challenges,” she said.

The series touches on some of the topics that normally would be discussed at the organization’s annual Parkinson’s Disease Therapeutics Conference, which will be not be held this fall due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The event typically draws around 300 research and business development professionals from academia and industry.

The first webinar session, June 16 from 11 a.m.–noon ET, is titled “Patient-focused Drug Development: Novel Instruments to Capture Patient Outcomes In Parkinson’s.” It will highlight MJFF-funded research aimed at identifying symptoms and other Parkinson’s topics that matter most to patients. It also will cover tools and methods used to elicit patient information, and how patient experience assessments could be developed for clinical trials.

Panelists will include Jesse M. Cedarbaum, MD, founder and head of Coeruleus Clinical Sciences; Lana Chahine, MD, assistant professor of neurology, University of Pittsburgh; and Ira Shoulson, MD, professor of neurology, University of Rochester.

In July (date to be determined) from 11 a.m.–noon ET, presenters will discuss “Molecular Signatures of Parkinson’s Disease.” The event will delve into the MJFF landmark study, the Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI), which produced an extensive set of data to inform translational biomarker research as well as new therapeutic development.

The session topic for Sept. 15 from 11 a.m.–12:30 p.m. ET is “The Many Faces of Parkinson’s.” To foster discussion between patient and research communities, the session will discuss the importance of understanding how patients experience Parkinson’s. The virtual “patient day” will bring together caregivers, industry professionals, and patients to talk about subjects that  include disease onset, progression, symptoms and unmet patient needs.

On Oct. 8, from 11 a.m.–12:30 ET, academia and industry leaders will discuss “Where We Are & Where We Are Heading: A Look Ahead at Therapeutic Development in Parkinson’s,” with a focus on emerging trends as well as opportunities to advance treatment development.

Registration is open for the first session only. Registration for other webinar sessions will be available here soon.

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