Shake It Up and MJFF fund new Australian Parkinson’s research project

As we shared with you last week, Shake It Up and The Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF) have committed over $1.6M to five Australian Parkinson’s research projects so far this financial year. This makes the Shake It Up / MJFF partnership the largest non-government funder of Parkinson’s research in Australia.

Research-PipettingblogToday we wish to share with you the first of these projects.

Researcher: Professor Glenda Halliday

Co-principal Investigators:  Associate Professor Simon Lewis, Associate Professor John Kwok & Dr Nicolas Dzamko

Institution: Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA)

Grant Title:

Are there peripheral changes in GBA protein/activity in idiopathic Parkinson’s disease patients

Grant Summary:

In the brains of people with Parkinson’s disease, the GBA protein appears to no longer fully function. Thus, therapies aimed at stabilizing glucocerebrosidase (GBA) protein and/or activity are potential new treatments for Parkinson’s disease. This project will use flow cytometry to develop and test a clinically relevant biomarker assay for the simultaneous detection of GBA protein and activity in peripheral immune cells from patients with Parkinson’s disease. Altered peripheral GBA protein or activity in patients with Parkinson’s disease may constitute a convenient biomarker for selection into therapeutic trials and/or a convenient peripheral measure of the efficacy of drugs aimed at stabilizing GBA.

Duration: 24 months

Value: AUD$439,097.93

Funding of this project reflects Shake It Up and MJFFs ongoing commitment to the talent of the team at NeuRA and their ability to answer some of the key questions in Parkinson’s research.

From a Shake It Up perspective we are absolutely delighted that this world leading research exists here in Australia.

Having recently committed such large sums of money to new projects, Shake It Up must now generate additional revenue if we are to maintain our commitment.

To that end we are seeking to raise an additional $1M by the end of 2016 and we need your help.

Please contribute today so that we can maintain our pace in the quest for a cure.

Professor Glenda Halliday

Professor Glenda HallidayProf Glenda Halliday is an Australian Professor of Neuroscience leading a research program of ~70 researchers tackling non-Alzheimer’s neurodegeneration that stems from her work on frontotemporal and motor neurodegenerative syndromes, and Parkinson’s disease. She is also Director of the Sydney Brain Bank. She received her degrees at University of New South Wales, and postdoctoral training at Flinders University prior to an ARC Queen Elizabeth II Fellow and NHMRC research fellowships since 1988, joining NeuRA in 1993. She has published >300 research papers and 2 books, and attracted >$30m in grant funding. Prof Halliday is on the editorial boards of 5 international journals, on Scientific Advisory Boards for 3 research institutes (one international), and is a committee member for a number of international organizations, including the International Brain Research Organization (a member organization of UNESCO). She was elected president of the Australian Neuroscience Society (ANS 2006-2007), awarded the 2011 ANS Nina Kondelos Prize, and named a high achiever in Australian Health and Medical Research by NHMRC.