2012 was a year of significant progress for the field of Parkinson’s disease (PD) research. Of course, much work lies ahead, and we’re not resting on our laurels here at The Michael J. Fox Foundation. Last week, our Research team reflected on what we’re most anticipating in 2013. With your help, we’ll continue to work hard to drive forward progress to find new drugs for people with PD.
“Since joining the Foundation, I have seen our influence grow exponentially to the point where we are now not just a funder but a key opinion leader in the field of Parkinson’s disease research. In 2013, we must continue to leverage our influence into a proactive push for results. I believe we’re up to the challenge.” – Brian Fiske, PhD, vice president of research programs.
“This past year, we asked the pharmaceutical and biotech industries to get more involved. And industry responded! Since inception, we’ve now funded over $82 million dollars to more than 175-industry led projects. But more than even this, we’ve entered into never-before-seen collaborations with companies like Sanofi, and launched a successful Partnering Program designed to get members of industry on the same page. I can’t wait to see what’s next in 2013.” – Tracey Mumford, associate director of research partnerships
“It’s encouraging how many Parkinson’s disease-related projects are now in various stages of clinical testing. In 2013, I’m looking forward to tracking the progress of some of these projects, and further growing our input and investment in the PD clinical space — this is going to be a major goal for our nascent clinical development team in the year to come.” Maurizio Facheris, MD, MSc, associate director of research programs
“I’m really looking forward to a new initiative in 2013 to study cohorts of people with mutations in the gene that codes for alpha-synuclein, toward learning more about this population of people with Parkinson’s. We’re already studying similar cohorts of people with mutations in LRRK2 and their families. Knowing more about these populations could provide us with new insight into how to develop drugs for everyone with PD.” – Kuldip Dave, PhD, associate director of research programs
“I think that MJFF’s alpha-synuclein imaging study has great potential to assist researchers in the search for a Parkinson’s biomarker. Knowing more about how the protein moves and acts within the body could lead to discovering disease-modifying drugs. MJFF has put a renowned team at the helm of this project, so I am anticipating some great things next year.” – James Skay, grants administrator
“In 2012, we were able to say that there are now three different trophic factors programs in the clinic. This is unbelievable when you think where the science was surrounding trophic factors just a few short years ago. We’ve continued to support projects from Ceregene and MedGenesis despite challenges in the field, and I’m optimistically looking forward to critical clinical results from Ceregene in 2013.” – Jamie Eberling, PhD, associate director of research programs
“We are seeing more and more companies coming to us for help, which has led to new ways of collaborating with drug makers. In 2013, I’m looking forward to building more of these relationships to ensure that promising Parkinson’s disease therapeutics continue to move toward the clinic.” – Marco Baptista, PhD, associate director of research programs