On May 13, The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research co-hosted a gala celebrating the new collaborative research alliance with The Bachmann-Strauss Dystonia and Parkinson Foundation (BSDPF) in New York City. †
MJFF conferred the inaugural Bachmann-Strauss Prize for Excellence in Dystonia Research on Xandra O. Breakefield, PhD, professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School and geneticist at Massachusetts General Hospital. The Prize recognizes her groundbreaking discoveries in the field of dystonia genetics:†Dr. Breakefield led a team that in 1997 identified the gene responsible for early onset dystonia, which led to better clinical diagnosis.†The award is accompanied by an unrestricted research grant of $100,000 to support further research in the awardee's laboratory.
Emceed by MJFF board member and co-host of†NBC's Today and MSNBC's Morning Joe,†Willie Geist, the gala also celebrated the achievements of BSDPF and its founder, Bonnie Strauss. She created the foundation after being diagnosed with dystonia, an under-funded movement disorder and an under-recognized symptom of Parkinsonís disease. The event raised more than $1.7 million to support dystonia and Parkinsonís research.†