Leading researchers at McGill University, funded in part by Parkinson Society Canada (PSC)’s National Research Program, have made a breakthrough that could lead to new drugs which may slow the progression of Parkinson’s disease.
Dr. Edward A. Fon at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital -The Neuro, and Dr. Kalle Gehring in the Department of Biochemistry at the Faculty of Medicine led collaborating teams to discover the three-dimensional structure of the protein Parkin, a component of a system that mediates the targeting of proteins for degradation in the brain.
This discovery resulted from several years of work by the collaborators, and was made possible in part through a PSC $45,000 Pilot Project Grant to Dr. Gehring in 2011 and as well as the Porridge for Parkinson’s (Toronto) Pilot Project Grant of $45,000 in 2012. Additional funding was provided by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research, and infrastructure support from the Fonds de recherche Québec and the Canada Foundation for Innovation.
“If we can reproduce this response from our research findings with a drug rather than mutations, we might be able to slow the progression of disease in Parkinson’s patients,” said Dr. Gehring.