PSC is proud of the many researcher success stories that have resulted from our funding program. In the coming months, we will be taking a look back at those we have funded and will update you on their progress. Here is a small sample of PSC funding success stories.
Dr. Oleh Hornykiewicz
Professor Emeritus, University of Vienna (1995)
Professor Emeritus, University of Toronto (1992)
Recipient of an operating grant from PSC in 1982, Dr. Oleh Hornykiewicz is one of the world’s leading neuroscientists and was an early winner of PSC’s prestigious Donald Calne Lectureship. He is best known for his discovery of the dopamine deficit in the brain of people with Parkinson’s disease and the initiation of L-dopa as a treatment for Parkinson’s.
Dr. David Park
Assistant Dean, Research and Special Projects, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa
Professor, Department of Cellular Molecular Medicine, University of Ottawa and Senior Scientist, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
Since receiving a pilot project grant in 2003, Dr. David Park has emerged as one of Canada’s most prolific scientists in Parkinson’s. Over the years, he has leveraged $270,000 in grants into $1.67 million in major funding. His current research includes an examination of the role of Pink1, a gene linked to Parkinson’s, in brain cell survival and brain cell death.
Dr. Frédéric Calon
Assistant Professor, Faculty of Pharmacy, Université Laval
Dr. Frédéric Calon received a new investigator award from PSC in 2004, and again in 2006, as an independent researcher. He is renowned for his groundbreaking research in new therapies for Parkinson’s. Dr. Calon and his co-investigator, Dr Francesca Cicchetti, also of Université Laval, demonstrated recently, in animal models, that a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids protects the brain against Parkinson’s disease progression.
Dr. Ekaterina Rogaeva
Associate Professor, Neurology Division, University of Toronto and Researcher, Centre for Research in Neurodegenerative Diseases, University of Toronto
In 2005, Dr. Ekaterina Rogaeva received a new investigator award from PSC to do a comprehensive genetic analysis of LRRK2, a novel causative gene for Parkinson’s disease. She is an Associate Professor and independent investigator at the University of Toronto, with a focus on the analysis of genes involved in movement disorders.
Dr. Karim Mukhida
Neurosurgeon-in-training, University of Toronto
PSC awarded Dr. Karim Mukhida a basic research fellowship in neurotransplantation, in 2006, to work with world-renowned neurosurgeon and brain repair researcher, Dr. Ivar Mendez at Dalhousie University. Dr. Mukhida has found a potential new way to treat neuropathic pain. In 2010, he will begin a clinical fellowship in the Division of Neurosurgery at Toronto Western Hospital and the University of Toronto, under the supervision of Dr. Andres Lozano.
Dr. Pierre Blanchet
Faculty of Dental Medicine, Université de Montréal
Chair, Parkinson Society Canada Research Policy Committee
Funded as a Clinical Fellow in 1993, Dr. Blanchet worked with the internationally-recognized PD pharmacologist Thomas Chase at NIH, Bethesda, Maryland. Dr. Blanchet established, for the first time, the precise role of the drug amantadine, used for over 40 years to relieve early symptoms of PD. This older, inexpensive compound now has a completely new role in the treatment of PD. Dr. Blanchet is now Chair of the Research Policy Committee at Parkinson Society Canada.
We are proud of the contribution Parkinson Society Canada continues to make to the advancement of the understanding of Parkinson’s. Our support of Canadian researchers in their early years has led to a solid foundation of promising Parkinson’s research in Canada.