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The Michael J. Fox Foundation Announces Five Academic Centers Chosen for 2018-2020 Edmond J. Safra Fellowship in Movement Disorders

NEW YORK (April 13, 2017) -- The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research (MJFF), in collaboration with longtime supporter and partner The Edmond J. Safra Foundation, has chosen five academic centers in the United States and Canada to host the third class of The Edmond J. Safra Fellowship in Movement Disorders.

The centers selected for the 2018-2020 Edmond J. Safra Fellowship in Movement Disorders class are:

  • University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • Columbia University Medical Center in New York
  • Massachusetts General Hospital | Harvard Medical School in Boston
  • University of Michigan
  • Toronto Western Hospital in Ontario, Canada

Launched in 2014, The Edmond J. Safra Fellowship in Movement Disorders aims to bridge the gap in funding to train movement disorder specialists -- neurologists who have expertise in diagnosing and managing Parkinson's disease. The program is specifically designed to grow the global base of clinician-researcher movement disorder specialists.

"By working with distinguished academic institutions to increase the number of movement disorder specialists, we can ensure people with Parkinson's have access to personalized care from experts at the forefront of research," said Mrs. Lily Safra, chairwoman of The Edmond J. Safra Foundation. "This program will ultimately benefit people with Parkinson's, who will receive remarkable care and have research designed with their interests in mind."

"We are thrilled to again be partnering with The Edmond J. Safra Foundation on this important initiative," said Todd Sherer, PhD, CEO of The Michael J. Fox Foundation. "This program continues to meet a critical need for specialists who can provide individualized patient care and lead research toward disease understanding and therapies to meet patients' needs."

An advisory committee ranked applicants on several criteria, including the quality of clinical education and the research environment, in order to select the top centers. Each institution will now identify a fellow who will begin two years of training in July 2018.

Patients Informing the Research that Impacts Them
Movement disorder specialist clinician-researchers serve as a link between patients and the research necessary to gain deeper understandings of disease and develop new and better therapies. Regular patient interactions provide these specialists with unique insights into the patient experience and perspective that can directly inform their research projects. The Edmond J. Safra Fellowship in Movement Disorders is helping train experts who can form partnerships with their patients to advance research.

Ongoing Commitment to Parkinson's Research and Care
Late banker and philanthropist Edmond J. Safra's namesake Foundation has long made Parkinson's disease care and research top priorities. Mrs. Safra, chairwoman of the Edmond J. Safra Foundation, has been an MJFF Board member since 2001.

In addition to generous gifts to centers and programs providing direct care to people with Parkinson's disease, Lily Safra and her Foundation have driven vital scientific investigation into new treatments. The fellowship is the latest among many partnerships between the Edmond J. Safra Foundation and MJFF, including the Edmond J. Safra Core Programs for PD Research, one of MJFF's central grantmaking avenues to support high-impact Parkinson's research projects.

Applications for 2019-2021 Class Opening Soon
The 2019 Edmond J. Safra Fellowship application will soon be open to academic centers. Please check back on our website for more information and to apply.

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