Todd Sherer, PhD, is Chief Mission Officer of The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research (MJFF). Formally trained as a neuroscientist, he is deeply focused on the organization's research strategy, charting a course for the coming era of Parkinson’s discovery and drug development. Todd’s role includes contributing to key research initiatives such as MJFF’s landmark clinical study, the Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative, collaborating with MJFF’s world-class roster of partners including ASAP (Aligning Science Across Parkinson’s) and major entities in biopharma and government, and serving as mentor and strategic advisor to PhDs on staff. Dr. Sherer served as the Foundation’s Chief Executive Officer for 10 years, from May 2011 to May 2021.
Dr. Sherer has been a key architect of the Foundation's strategy to define high-priority research areas for Parkinson's disease — therapeutic targets and approaches closest or most critical to practical relevance in patients' daily lives — and leverage donor-raised capital to push projects in these areas toward the clinic. He has played a major role in efforts to increase the pharmaceutical industry's investment in Parkinson's disease drug development and to engage the patient community to encourage and expand participation in clinical research. Today he is one of the world's foremost experts on the science and business of Parkinson's drug development, speaking frequently on these topics at conferences, to the media and to members of the Parkinson's community.
Dr. Sherer's work with the Foundation began in 2003, when, as a postdoctoral fellow at Emory University in Atlanta, he was awarded MJFF funding to investigate the role of environmental factors in Parkinson's disease. He joined the Foundation's staff full time as Associate Director, Research Programs, in April 2004, and was promoted to Vice President, Research Programs, in June 2006 and Chief Program Officer in November 2010, finally assuming the role of Chief Executive Officer in May 2011.
He serves on the coordinating committee for the Morris K. Udall Centers of Excellence in Parkinson's Disease Research supported by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and is on the steering committee of the Accelerated Medicines Program – Parkinson’s disease coordinated by the Foundation for NIH. Additionally, Dr. Sherer was selected to serve as a council member for the FasterCures' TRAIN (The Research Acceleration and Innovation Network) program. He was also a founding council member for the National Center for Advancing Translation Science at the National Institute of Health.
Dr. Sherer has published more than 50 peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals and sits on the editorial board of the Journal of Parkinson's Disease. He earned his PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia and holds a BS in Psychology from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.