The Michael J . Fox Foundation for Parkinson ’ s Research
MJFF ’ s Major Research Prizes
In 2019 and 2020 , The Michael J . Fox Foundation continued the tradition of honoring groundbreaking work to speed critical advances and mentor the next generation of scientists in Parkinson ’ s disease and dystonia research .
THE BACHMANN-STRAUSS PRIZE FOR EXCELLENCE IN DYSTONIA RESEARCH was established with a leadership commitment from the Bachmann-Strauss Dystonia and Parkinson Foundation ( BSDPF ), led by MJFF Board member Bonnie Strauss and her husband , Tom Strauss . The prize recognizes dystonia researchers for key scientific discoveries and incentivizes the next generation of investigators to continue forging paths toward cures .
Antonio Pisani , MD , PhD , University of Rome Tor Vergata ( Italy ) and David G . Standaert , MD , PhD , UAB ( University of Alabama at Birmingham ). Their work examines the role and relationship of neurotransmitter activity in dystonia and has laid the groundwork for developing and testing new therapies to help those living with dystonia .
William Dauer , MD , University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas . Dr . Dauer led a group of researchers who developed an important pre-clinical model that mimics dystonia , allowing scientists to better explore the biology of dystonia ’ s onset and progression and test the impact of therapies .
THE ROBERT A . PRITZKER PRIZE FOR LEADERSHIP IN PARKINSON ’ S RESEARCH was established by Karen Pritzker and her late husband , Michael Vlock . Named in honor of Pritzker ’ s father , the late Robert A . Pritzker , the prize recognizes researchers who make an exceptional contribution to Parkinson ’ s research and exhibit a commitment to mentoring the next generation of Parkinson ’ s scientists .
Andrew Singleton , PhD , National Institutes of Health Distinguished Investigator . Singleton ’ s group has discovered several genetic mutations associated with Parkinson ’ s disease , including the alpha-synuclein multiplication mutation and mutations in the LRRK2 gene . Over the last several years , his team has identified 90 genetic risk factors for Parkinson ’ s disease . Singleton ’ s dedication to collaboration and training a new generation of geneticists is laying the groundwork for future breakthroughs .
Caroline Tanner , MD , PhD , University of California , San Francisco . A champion of people living with Parkinson ’ s , Dr . Tanner ’ s research spans biology , biomarkers and therapies . Her notable scientific discoveries , including findings that link commonly used pesticides to increased Parkinson ’ s risk , have contributed to new areas of research and prevention strategies . She is the co-principal investigator of MJFF ’ s landmark PPMI ( Parkinson ’ s Progression Markers Initiative ) Online study .