RESEARCH TOOL CATALOG
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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 Parkinson's 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.
Don't see what you're looking for? Suggest new tools for MJFF to develop. Learn more
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What animal and cell models do you recommend for PD research?
We do not have a "best model" to recommend. There are a variety of animal and cell-based models for PD. In designing your project, we typically recommend choosing two models of PD and base your choices off clear rationale that you make clear in your application. Furthermore, we generally recommend using one genetic model of PD and one neurotoxin/other model of PD for animal models. For cell-based models, we typically recommend using a cell line that is based in the human condition (for example, a human-derived cell line).
Can you provide me with a protocol for a reagent from your Tools Catalog?
As MJFF does not have laboratories on their premises, we did not perform the experiments ourselves and thus do not have detailed protocols to provide. To gain more information on protocols, we recommend locating a paper that has used the reagent and developing a protocol from the paper. If more guidance is needed, we recommend contacting the primary author of the manuscript. If you are encountering issues when trying to use a reagent from our tools catalog, we suggest contacting the distributor from which you purchased the reagent for troubleshooting help.
Can I advertise my products or website on your tools catalog?
A unique aspect of the Fox Foundation is our active role in providing researchers with necessary preclinical tools to advance research and speed a cure for Parkinson's disease. To this end, we have a team of scientists at MJFF that take an active role in designing, creating, validating, and distributing research tools that we believe are vital for the community. These tools are listed in the Tools Catalog on our website. As a result, we only list the MJFF-sponsored tools on our Tools Catalog and do not include reagents that did not originate at the Fox Foundation.
How do I get permission to obtain large amounts of alpha synuclein to generate PFFS?
Bulk orders for 10 mg (instead of having to order 10 x 1 mg aliquots) can be made at the cost of $2,500 / 10mg plus shipping. All bulk orders of the protein also undergo the in-house and outside QC/QA (i.e. ability for monomer to form PFFs, Thioflavin T incorporation, and capacity to seed neurotoxicity in primary neuron cultures). To place a bulk order, please email Lindsey Gottler at LMGottler@proteos.com.
Are your tools and animal models quality controlled and validated?
All of the tools listed in the Tools Catalog have undergone quality control to ensure MJFF is providing researchers with high-quality, reliable tools. In addition, tools generally undergo functional validation in addition to basic quality control to verify the tools and animal models behave as expected. However, MJFF characterization efforts do not cover all possible aspects of these tools or animal models, and we rely on the scientific community to continue our characterization efforts. Information on quality control can generally be found in the product page on the distributor's website.
Do you sell your tools to industry groups, or are your tools strictly for researchers in the non-profit sector?
All of our tools are available to industry as well as academic/non-profit groups.
Are samples of different central/peripheral tissue from your animal models available?
Yes. We have a biospecimen repository that contains fresh frozen tissue from our animal models. The tissues available include kidney, liver, lungs, spleen, and brain (frontal cortex, hippocampus, cerebellum, brainstem). To access these tissue, complete the following form and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
What outcome measures have you tested in the alpha synuclein PFF animal model?
A list the outcome measures that have been or will be tested in the alpha synuclein PFF model can be found in the following handout.