To manage our aggressive research agenda, The Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF) staff must keep a finger on the pulse of Parkinson’s disease (PD) research programs and operations. Furthermore, MJFF enriches the research landscape as Foundation-led studies and initiatives serve as models in the field. These factors bring staff across the country and around the world for conferences and meetings to share information and best practices with patients, researchers, clinicians and administrators.
A new series will hear from MJFF staff on the conferences they’re attending and how they hope to contribute to and benefit from the experience. First up, Brian Fiske, PhD, MJFF Vice President, Research Programs, tells us about a meeting next month where he’ll give a presentation and lead one of the sessions.
“Inflammation in the brain has been associated with loss of brain cells that underlie PD, so this therapeutic target area is a focus of study and drug development. Next month I’ll be in Grand Rapids, Michigan, for Grand Challenges in Parkinson’s Disease: The Role of Inflammation, organized by the Van Andel Institute and MJFF Awardee Dr. Patrik Brundin. I’m chairing a session that will discuss possible therapeutic and biomarker approaches to neuroinflammation. I’ll also be presenting MJFF’s views on how we can possibly repurpose anti-inflammatory drugs for PD in order to speed up possible treatments to the clinic.
“I’m looking forward to learning a lot at the meeting and interacting with other PD researchers (many of whom MJFF has funded). I’m also excited to hear a special talk from Alim Louis Benabid, PhD, on ‘Will DBS at High Frequency for Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease be Developed, Abandoned or Replaced, and by What?’ Dr. Benabid was the recipient of the MJFF 2013 Robert A. Pritzker Prize for Leadership in Parkinson’s Research and will be presented the Jay Van Andel Award for Outstanding Achievement in Parkinson’s Disease at the September conference.”