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Funding Opportunities

Target Advancement Program


The Michael J. Fox Foundation funds work that leverages and translates basic research to enable therapeutic development.

View projects funded through this program.

MJFF believes that promoting target and pathway validation studies within academic and industry laboratories can bridge the critical gap between basic biology and therapeutic development.

Validation efforts could focus on early-stage targets that have previously been implicated in Parkinson’s but have not yet been rigorously tested for their ability to impact disease-relevant outcomes in Parkinson's model systems. Submitted projects could investigate whether genetic or pharmacological modulation of the target can affect Parkinson's-relevant biological pathways or phenotypes in model systems that may be predictive of therapeutic efficacy. The Target Advancement Program is open to industry and academic investigators proposing to build conclusive evidence to rationalize biological targets and pathways for Parkinson’s disease therapeutic development.
This program is part of our Edmond J. Safra Core Programs for PD Research.

What Fits

Applications could focus on studies that achieve one or more of the following goals:

  • Demonstrate pathological relevance of a target by studying its altered expression, distribution, or function in Parkinson's-relevant human tissues.
  • Demonstrate that modulation of the target or pathway in vivo in whole mammalian Parkinson's models using genetic or pharmacological manipulations yields outcomes predictive of clinical efficacy or relevance in human Parkinson's disease.
  • Elucidate target or pathway biology in disease-relevant models, including defining upstream/downstream modifiers and convergence of promising target pathways.

This program was not appropriate for:

  • Proposals with a primary focus on the biology of advanced targets like alpha-synuclein, LRRK2, GBA and Parkin/PINK1, as MJFF has already made significant investments in these areas.
  • Proposals focused on discovering new targets for therapeutic development.

Contact with questions about this program or our policies.

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