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Parkinson's Disease Foundation Announces $20,000 in Grant Funding for Patient-Centered Research to Speed New Treatments

Supports Partnerships Between Patient Advocates and Scientists at Four Leading Parkinson's Research Centers

NEW YORK, March 28, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Parkinson's Disease Foundation® (PDF®) is pleased to announce $20,000 in grant funding to support patient-centered research at four leading Parkinson's disease research institutions.  The grants are provided through PDF's first Parkinson's Advocates in Research (PAIR) Leadership Awards.  These awards support partnerships between researchers and patient advocates who are working to speed treatments for Parkinson's disease.

Parkinson's Disease Foundation logo

"As a clinician-scientist, it is exciting to see PDF leading our field toward increased collaboration with people who live with Parkinson's disease," said Christina Vaughan, M.D., M.H.S., Assistant Professor of Neurology at the Medical University of South Carolina.  Dr. Vaughan, who is an award recipient with PDF Research Advocates Jay Phillips and Marilyn Phillips, P.T., of Charleston, SC, continued, "PDF recognizes what I have experienced in my work – patients who understand what it means to live with this disease can help to accelerate research."

PDF has been a pioneer in patient engagement for the past decade, advocating for increased patient involvement in the research process; creating educational tools to help people with Parkinson's stay informed; engaging patient advocates in its own research programs; and providing training for more than 230 volunteer PDF Research Advocates around the United States.

"PDF knows that true innovation is possible when we bring together those with the greatest expertise in the disease – people with Parkinson's and scientists," said Veronica Todaro, M.P.H., Vice President, National Programs at PDF.  "We are proud to support these four outstanding teams, whose work as emerging leaders in patient engagement will ultimately speed new treatments for Parkinson's disease."

The recipients of PDF's first PAIR Leadership Awards are listed below.  Learn more by visiting or by calling (800) 457-6676.

Participant Retention in Parkinson's and Huntington's Clinical Studies
Patricia Ede, R.N., B.S.N., Clinical Study Coordinator, Struthers Parkinson's Center, Martha Nance, M.D., Medical Director, Struthers Parkinson's Center and Professor of Neurology, University of Minnesota, and Kim and Libbe Erickson, PDF Research Advocates, Stillwater, MN

Opportunities and Challenges in Building Patient-Researcher Collaborations to Accelerate Parkinson's Clinical Research
Benzi M. Kluger, M.D., M.S., Director, Movement Disorders Center and Associate Professor, Neurology, University of Colorado, and Diane Cook, PDF Research Advocate and member, PDF People with Parkinson's Advisory Council, Denver, CO

Self-Reported Benefits of Participation in a Singing Group (Tremble Clefs) in Parkinson Disease
Stephanie Lessig, M.D., Associate Professor, Department of Neurosciences, University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine and Chief of Neurology, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and Thelma Balbes, M.A., PDF Research Advocate, Carlsbad, CA

Tele-Neurological Assessments of Patients with Parkinson's Disease 
Christina Vaughan, M.D., M.H.S., Assistant Professor of Neurology, Medical University of South Carolina, and Jay Phillips and Marilyn Phillips, P.T., PDF Research Advocates, Charleston, SC

About Parkinson's Disease 
Parkinson's disease is a progressive neurological disorder that affects nearly one million people in the United States and seven to 10 million people worldwide.  Although promising research is being conducted, there is currently no cure for Parkinson's disease.

About PDF Research 
Central to the mission of the Parkinson's Disease Foundation (PDF) is our commitment to funding research that is focused on three results: solving, treating and ending Parkinson's disease.  In the calendar year 2014, PDF will contribute a total of $5 million towards Parkinson's disease research programs, funding three research centers, 40 scientific projects and 10 clinical fellows around the world.  A full list of this year's research projects is available on the PDF website at    

About the Parkinson's Disease Foundation (PDF)
The Parkinson's Disease Foundation® (PDF®) is a leading national presence in Parkinson's disease research, education and public advocacy.  We are working for the nearly one million people in the US who live with Parkinson's disease by funding promising scientific research while supporting people living with Parkinson's disease through educational programs and services.  Since its founding in 1957, PDF has dedicated over $100 million to fund the work of leading scientists throughout the world and over $42 million to support national education and advocacy programs.

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SOURCE Parkinson's Disease Foundation

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