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The Michael J. Fox Foundation

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The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research is dedicated to finding a cure for Parkinson's disease through an aggressively funded research agenda and to ensuring the development of improved therapies for those living with Parkinson's today. Established by actor Michael J. Fox in 2000, the Foundation has since become the largest private funder of Parkinson's disease research in the world, investing nearly $179 million in research to date.[1] The Foundation's proactive approach to advancing PD science has made it "the most credible voice on Parkinson's research in the world".[2]


Research Priorities

The Foundation targets underfunded, high-risk, "translational" research -- the work of translating basic scientific discoveries into practical treatments with potential to benefit the estimated five million people living with Parkinson's today.[3] The Foundation's research team, drawn from the worlds of both science and business, proactively manages the largest PD research portfolio in the world, priortizing the most promising ideas and key studies to ensure that they continue on a strategic course forward.

Funding Opportunities

The Foundation drives progress by awarding grants to ensure that the most promising research avenues are thoroughly funded, explored and carried forward toward pharmacy shelves.[4] The Foundation's four annually recurring Pipeline Programs aim to speed research along the drug development pipeline.[5] The Pipeline Programs include:

Rapid Response Innovation Awards quickly support high-risk, high-reward projects with little to no existing preliminary data, but potential to significantly impact our understanding or treatment of PD (an Edmond J. Safra Core Program for PD Research).

Target Validation Awards provide support for work demonstrating whether modulation of a novel biological target has impact in a PD-relevant pre-clinical model — an essential step to the development of potential targeted therapies (an Edmond J. Safra Core Program for PD Research).

Clinical Intervention Awards support clinical testing of promising PD therapies that may significantly and fundamentally improve treatment of PD (an Edmond J. Safra Core Program for PD Research).

Therapeutics Development Initiative, an industry-exclusive support program for preclinical development of Parkinson’s disease therapies with potential to fundamentally alter disease course and/or improve treatment of symptoms above and beyond current standards of care.

The Pipeline Programs are complemented by the Foundation's Critical Challenges in Parkinson's Disease program, which provides funds for top research priorities.[6] Critical Challenges in 2009/2010 include: speeding research on PD genetic targets, LRRK2 and alpha-synuclein; advancing research on neurotrophic factors; identifying biomarkers of PD; understanding patient's unmet needs, like postural instability and gait disturbances; and, promoting collaborations with the Arizona Parkinson's Disease Consortium.

Team Fox

Team Fox is The Michael J. Fox Foundation's grassroots community initiative to help raise funds and awareness for Parkinson's research. Launched in 2006, Team Fox members are running marathons, flipping pancakes, climbing mountains, hosting concerts, golfing for a cure and more.

PD Online Research

PD Online Research is an online community of Parkinson's scientists, clinicians and industry experts who exchange ideas and information in real time. Launched in 2009, PD Online Research has more than 2,000 active members from adademic, government, pharmaceutical and biotech sectors.

Education and Awareness

The Michael J. Fox Foundation publishes a print newsletter, Accelerating the Cure, three times per year as well as a monthly e-newsletter, FoxFlash, to keep supporters updated on Parkinson's research progress.[7] In 2010, the Foundation launched an audio podcast series on Parkinson's science, hosted by KQED Public Radio Host David Iverson. [8] Living with Parkinson's is the Foundation's online source for information on PD (including an animation about how the brain is affected by Parkinson's), guides for the newly diagnosed and caregivers, stories from people living with the disease and additional resources.[9]

Fox Shop

Fox Shop is The Michael J. Fox Foundation's online store. [10] Filled with apparel and accessories featuring the Foundation's fox logo, Fox Shop products support The Michael J. Fox Foundation.


  1. The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research
  2. Taking Science Personally
  3. Our Research: The Michael J. Fox Foundation
  4. Funding Opportunities: The Michael J. Fox Foundation
  5. Pipeline Programs: The Michael J. Fox Foundation
  6. Critical Challenges: The Michael J. Fox Foundation
  7. Our Publications: The Michael J. Fox Foundation
  8. Podcasts: The Michael J. Fox Foundation
  9. Living with Parkinson's: The Michael J. Fox Foundation
  10. Fox Shop: The Michael J. Fox Foundation

External links