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Michael J. Fox Foundation Seeks Innovative Scientific Approaches for 2006 Community Fast Track Program

NEWYORK, NY – The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research announced today the launch of its 2006 Community Fast Track research program (CFT ’06). This annual program aims to stimulate new and novel research that advances understanding of Parkinson’s and accelerates improved treatments and an ultimate cure for PD patients.  Each year, national and regional Parkinson’s groups join to help fund the program and the Foundation is currently reaching out to community partners to encourage participation.

The 2006 program continues the strong tradition of the Community Fast Track approach to provide funding quickly to researchers who wish to conduct cutting-edge research. Similar to last year’s program, CFT ’06 will support highly promising research projects conducted within a one-year timeframe and a $125,000 budget.  This puts a greater emphasis on speed and outcomes, and provides the Foundation the ability to follow up with the most exciting and promising projects. The Foundation anticipates awarding up to $2 million this year.

“The Community Fast Track program continues to be successful in motivating new research,” said Gene Johnson, PhD, chief scientific advisor for the Michael J. Fox Foundation. “The program is an important way to allow scientists to test high-risk and high-reward ideas that have potential to enhance the understanding of PD or move promising therapeutic ideas forward.”

The CFT ‘06 program retains the Fast Track philosophy, which seeks to reduce the burden of applications and speed funds to researchers. Letters of intent (LOI) are required elements of the application process and must be submitted online by May 18th. Information about submitting LOIs online can be found on the Foundation’s Web site. Each LOI will be reviewed by the Foundation’s scientific staff and a panel of scientific experts. Those proposals that appear both promising and in keeping with the spirit of the program will be invited to submit full applications. Funding is anticipated by November 2006.

The Community Fast Track program is an investigator-initiated, peer-reviewed program that provides funding for cutting-edge research relevant to the cure, cause, prevention or improved treatment of Parkinson’s disease. Community partners that have previously teamed up with the Foundation to fund Community Fast Track programs have included: The Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, National Parkinson Foundation, The Parkinson Alliance, Parkinson’s Unity Walk, Parkinson Association of the Sacramento Region, Parkinson Foundation of the Heartland, Lawrence County Parkinson’s Association Parkinson’s Victoria, Inc., The Parkinson Association of the Rockies and Parkinson’s Resources of Oregan. Launched in 2001, the Community Fast Track program has awarded approximately $15 million to support 86 research grants.

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