About Our Research
Finding the cause, finding more effective treatments and discovering the cure for Parkinson’s disease is the focus of The Michael Stern Parkinson’s Research Foundation.
The Michael Stern Parkinson’s Research Foundation was established in 2001 to support and expand the pioneering research of The Stern Center for Parkinson’s Research at The Rockefeller University, under the direction of Dr. Paul Greengard. Dr. Greengard discovered the fundamental rules by which neurons in the brain and spinal cord interact with one another — work that earned him medicine’s highest honor, the Nobel Prize. He did this largely by examining the effects of the neurotransmitter dopamine, a chemical messenger that is progressively lost in Parkinson’s disease. By teasing apart the intricate pathways and second messengers by which dopamine exerts its array of effects on neurons, Dr. Greengard and his team of scientists laid the groundwork for a new generation of Parkinson’s medications to stop the disease in its tracks or prevent it altogether.
Dr. Greengard has assembled a close-knit group of more than 25 outstanding scientists who are focused on translating the fundamental understandings about the dopamine system into new treatments for Parkinson’s. The core team of researchers, based at The Stern Center for Parkinson’s Research, interacts continually with collaborators here in the U.S., as well as from the United Kingdom, France, Sweden, Italy, Japan and Korea. This global presence ensures that no promising research lead is overlooked, and that progress can be made on multiple fronts simultaneously.
As the Foundation has grown, it has been able to expand its support for critical neurological research to four additional leading research doctors at cutting edge laboratories and academic institutions in the U.S.:
Dr. Ole Isacson, Director of the Neuroregeneration Research Institute at McLean Hospital, Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School; and co-chair of the Harvard Center for Neurodegeneration and Repair.
Dr. Michael G. Kaplitt, Director, Laboratory of Molecular Neurosurgery, Weill Cornell Medical College.
Dr. Kenneth Marek, President, Co-Founder, Senior Scientist, The Institute for Neurodegenerative Disorders (IND).
Dr. Angus Nairn, Charles B. G. Murphy Professor of Psychiatry and Professor of Pharmacology, Yale School of Medicine.
Our scientists work synergistically and integratively and, based on their understanding of how the disease ravages the brain, have developed many insights into how the devastating symptoms of Parkinson’s disease might be prevented or delayed. Their findings continue to be published in major scientific publications such as Nature, Cell, Science and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
Doctors biographies and published research available upon request.