The Michael J. Fox Foundation is committed to eliminating challenges to finding a cure for Parkinson's disease. We identify needed research tools with the potential to bolster efforts throughout the field and work with appropriate partners to engineer these tools at a high level of quality. Once we have developed them, we create (or leverage existing) practical distribution channels that remove hurdles to their widespread use by academic and industry researchers.
The Foundation is working with a repository to create a library of DNA plasmids that can be utilized to examine a number of genes implicated not only in PD but in PD-relevant pathways to examine them in a variety of cell systems.
The Foundation is developing a resource of viral vectors to deliver Parkinson's disease genes of interest for use in cellular and in vivo studies.
The Foundation recognizes the utility of protein reagents as critical for a number of applications, including for use as standards in assays. Given this need, MJFF is working to generate a number of reagents around key PD targets.
MJFF is creating high-quality antibodies against critical PD proteins for use by the research and drug development community. Antibodies can be used to interrogate PD proteins of interest in a number of methodological platforms.
Evaluation of changes that occur in biological samples is the cornerstone of biomarker identification. MJFF is working to leverage antibodies generated by the Foundation, as well as those that are commercially available, to develop assays that can be used to better quantify levels of PD proteins of interest in biological samples.
A homogenous population of (immortalized) cells that can be interrogated and assayed is a critical tool for scientists at the bench. Cell lines facilitate the analysis of protein structure, function and enable scientists to investigate changes in cellular homeostasis upon administration of compounds of interest and/or expression of exogenous targets (protein/nucleic acid). MJFF is working with a number of partners to develop these valuable resources for investigators.
The Foundation has invested significant effort into producing animal models to further advance our understanding of Parkinson's disease and provide effective translatable tools for drug discovery.
The Foundation has helped launch the PDGene database, a comprehensive, unbiased and regularly updated field synopsis of genetic association studies performed in Parkinson's disease.
Data & Samples
Clinical Data and Biologic Sample Resources
MJFF has supported pre-clinical and clinical efforts that have generated valuable tissue and biosample resources for the research community. Resources include tissue from post-mortem human brain and whole-body donation programs as well as preclinical research PD models. We also have made available clinical data and biosamples from current and previous clinical studies and trials. Researchers can access these resources through a variety of mechanisms and in some cases seek specific MJFF funding to use these resources. See our MJFF Biosample and Tissue Resources for information about programs supporting work with our sample resources. You can also access and download clinical data and request access to biosamples from PPMI, our large-scale, international biomarker study.
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Research Tools Consortium
MJFF is working with industry to characterize and develop tools.