The Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF) joins the research community in mourning the passing of Robert E. Burke, MD, a founding member of our Scientific Advisory Board.
As Professor of Neurology and Director of the Laboratories for Research in Parkinson's Disease and Related Disorders at Columbia University Medical Center, Bob was a critical member of the Movement Disorders Division in Columbia's Department of Neurology, where he led the Morris K. Udall Research Center. His prestigious career also included leadership positions in the American Academy of Neurology, The Movement Disorder Society and the World Parkinson Congress.
Bob's contributions to our Foundation's Scientific Advisory Board (SAB), a rotating committee of thought leaders and experts who provide regular guidance and direction to MJFF staff on overall research strategy, were invaluable. He was the recipient of the Foundation's 2005-2006 Langston Award for his outstanding service on behalf of Parkinson's patients, including chairing our Community Fast Track program and serving as a reviewer for the Clinical Discovery Awards, a critical early initiative to help move promising ideas into clinical testing toward the development of breakthrough therapeutic strategies.
"Bob was instrumental to our work from the earliest days of the Foundation, and his unwavering commitment to speeding a cure for Parkinson's leaves a lasting legacy for the Foundation and the next generation of clinician-scientists," said Todd Sherer, PhD, chief executive officer, MJFF. "He was a role model and teacher, openly sharing his vast knowledge of movement disorders and neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson's and dystonia for the benefit of everyone living with these diseases. He will be greatly missed."
The leadership and staff at MJFF offer deepest condolences to Bob's family and all of his colleagues in the research community.