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Michael J. Fox to Testify on Parkinson's Research

Michael J. Fox, actor and founder of The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research (MJFF), will testify Wednesday May 22nd before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education on the status of federal funding for Parkinson's research. Joining Fox are legendary boxer Muhammad Ali and his wife Lonnie Ali in their first appearance on Parkinson's research before the Subcommittee.

Fox's testimony will focus on the need for Congress to increase federal research funding for Parkinson's disease at NIH.

"Our foundation has funded or collaborated on 57 grants totaling nearly $17 million for Parkinson's research in the past 2 years," Fox said today. "We have funded an exciting range of studies spanning basic to clinical research, from cell replacement therapies and the circuitry to make it work to the development of a Parkinson's biomarker. Still, available funding falls far short of the scientific opportunity.

"We call on Congress and the National Institutes of Health to transform the Parkinson's Disease Research Agenda from a recommendation into an operational priority, and boost the federal research investment toward a cure. Parkinson's research has reached a critical mass and every dollar spent today has the real possibility of producing a cure tomorrow for millions of patients and their families," said Fox. "In funding Parkinson's research, I believe we ought to act as surely and swiftly as we act in response to other challenges to our health, our lives, and our society."

The hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, May 22, at 9:30 am in room 216 of the Hart Senate Office Building in Washington, DC. Also testifying will be:

  • Ole Isacson, M.D., Director, Neuroregeneration Laboratory, Harvard Medical School/McLean Hospital
  • Joan Samuelson, President, Parkinson's Action Network
  • Don Schneider, a Parkinson's patient and former radio announcer from Clinton, Iowa, and
  • Audrey Penn, M.D., Acting Director of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
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