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What We Fund

The Michael J. Fox Foundation funds promising research with a goal to significantly improve the lives of people with Parkinson's. We welcome applications from academia and industry for support to define, measure and treat Parkinson's.

Ideas Welcome

We fund studies with sound scientific rationale and clear relevance for people with Parkinson's disease (PD). No idea is too novel for us to consider. We support academic and industry scientists, small biotechs, big pharma and allied care professionals. Our portfolio spans basic, translational and clinical research.

How We Fund

We identify projects to fund through multiple channels:

  • Core Funding Programs: Our annual core funding programs are intentionally open-ended, calling for novel and iterative ideas across the spectrum of Parkinson's research.
  • Targeted Funding Programs: We also issue requests for funding applications or projects that address a specific gap in understanding or patient need.
  • Supplemental Funding: We may issue add-on funding if a project shows significant progress and continued potential.
  • Foundation-driven Initiatives: Our Foundation sponsors and/or coordinates our own studies.

More Than Money

Grants from The Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF) come with more than money. Successful applicants get access to a network of advisors: MJFF staff and our many external partners. You may be invited to join a consortium and/or attend virtual and in-person meetings with others working in the same research area who may enrich or even partner on your project.

Research Strategy

Our Foundation initiates programs and assesses funding applications through the lens of three overarching goals:

1. Better Understanding of Parkinson's Biology

The variability of Parkinson's onset and progression and frequent new genetic findings tell us there is much to discover about this disease. Our portfolio ranges from novel discovery to target optimization to clinical profiling. For example, we fund work to explore:

  • Parkinson’s pathogenesis, from genetics to environment to aging;
  • the biology and pathology of genetic and cellular factors, such as alpha-synuclein, LRRK2, GBA, PRKN/PINK1, inflammation, mitochondrial dysfunction and autophagy;
  • imaging and other measurement techniques to analyze brain changes and circuitry; and
  • the clinical experience of Parkinson’s across various cohorts.

Read about the Parkinson's Progression Markers Initiative, our flagship study toward holistic Parkinson’s understanding. Data and biosamples from the study, and funding to use them, are available to qualified researchers.

2. Translation of Biology to Patient-relevant Therapies

MJFF invests heavily in all aspects of therapeutic development both to directly support individual projects with great potential to help people with Parkinson’s and to provide the field with tools applicable across targets and projects. For example, we fund projects that:

  • screen and optimize compounds;
  • test drug and non-pharmacological interventions in clinical trials;
  • identify and validate biomarkers and predictive models to inform subject selection, monitor disease and measure therapeutic impact; and
  • gather patient-reported outcomes to enrich study design.

Read about the LRRK2 Safety Initiative, an unprecedented MJFF-led consortium of competitors that united to test the safety of a promising Parkinson's therapy.

3. An Open, Inclusive and Collaborative Research Environment

Robust, collaborative, replicable research leads to faster progress. The Foundation works to build an open and collaborative research environment through strategic investment in:

  • well-characterized and accessible research tools;
  • open, real-time sharing of biosamples, data and new findings;
  • open communication and collaboration among multidisciplinary researchers and experts; and
  • productive and rigorous dialogue between patients and researchers.

Read about Fox Insight, our online study that remotely captures patient-reported and genetic data and makes it available to the broad research community.

Previously Funded Projects

Explore our Funded Projects database to see what studies we have funded in the past.

Ready to apply? Visit our Funding Opportunities page for information on open and upcoming requests for application programs.

 

Michael J. Fox in blue sweater posing for the camera.

Patients First

Our Foundation exists for one reason: to speed breakthroughs patients can feel in their everyday lives.

Read Our Promise
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