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Creating Hope Through Scientific Discovery

Finding the cause, finding more effective treatments and discovering the cure for Parkinson’s is the focus of the Michael Stern Parkinson’s Research Foundation, an IRS registered non-profit foundation that was established in 2001 to support and expand the pioneering research of Dr. Paul Greengard’s laboratory at The Rockefeller University. 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 are laying the groundwork for a new generation of Parkinson’s medications that act at the molecular level to stop the disease in its tracks – or prevent it altogether.

(Please see page 17 for more on Dr. Greengard’s research.)
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 Foundation laboratory on the campus of The Rockefeller University interacts continually with collaborators 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.

State-of-the Art Facility

The Stern Center shares a state-of-the-art laboratory at The Rockefeller University with the Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research, a synergistic arrangement that capitalizes on the similar scientific questions that drive research aimed at curing these two different brain diseases.