Research Tools PRIORITY AREA
Why Are Research Tools a Priority?
Researchers rely on critical tools, including reagents and pre-clinical models, to understand the cause and mechanisms underlying Parkinson's disease and to develop effective treatments. When such tools are lacking, investigators must often make their own, wasting time and resources that would be better spent on studying Parkinson's disease. Many existing tools may also lack sufficient quality control data, are difficult to obtain by the wider research community, or may come with restrictive license terms and fees that hinder drug makers' ability to use them. Promoting the generation and availability of critical research tools is a key way to accelerate therapeutic development for Parkinson's patients.
Our Investment in Research Tools
The Michael J. Fox Foundation has a multi-faceted approach to developing research tools:
- Identifying critical tools through discussions with key scientific experts
- Generating critical tools through partnerships with leading experts and companies
- Evaluating critical tools to provide reliable quality control data and to inform ideal methods for use
- Distributing critical tools, ideally through no/low-cost, restriction-free vendors and partner organizations, such as Addgene, Covance, Abcam, and The Jackson Laboratories
Employing this strategy, the Foundation has made a number of tools available to the research community, including DNA plasmids, viral vectors, purified protein, antibodies, assays and pre-clinical models.
In addition, the MJFF is spearheading the Parkinsonís Disease Research Tools Consortium, working with industry partners to better characterize and utilize existing tools, as well as to develop new tools to address unmet challenges.
Priorities for 2014
The Foundation is focusing its efforts on:
- Leading several comparison and characterization studies including a LRRK2 antibody comparison study and a phenotypic characterization study comparing alpha-synuclein animal models
- Communicating the availability of new tools and key findings to researchers through our website, public databases and publications
- Continuing to develop additional tools, including:
- LRRK2 Viral Vectors
- LRRK2 Cell Lines
- Post-translationally modified alpha-synculein Proteins
- Assay to detect total and phosphorylated forms of alpha-synuclein in biosamples
- Assay to measure DJ-1
- Antibodies directed against total PINK1 and Parkin and also against phosphorylated forms of alpha-synuclein, PINK1 and LRRK2
- Alpha-synuclein over-expressing models and an alpha-synuclein knock-in model
- TH-GFP model generation and characterization
- GBA,VPS35 and Eif4g1 genetic models
Open Funding Programs
Deadline: Rolling deadlines: February 10, April 14, June 12, August 14 and October 16
Access valuable data, biospecimens and tissue resources from several pre-clinical and clinical efforts.
Accelerate Your Research
Research Tools Consortium
MJFF is working with industry to better understand existing tools and to develop new ones.
Connect With Other Researchers