The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research and the Bachmann-Strauss Dystonia and Parkinson Foundation have announced an alliance to raise awareness and increase investment in advancing dystonia and Parkinson's disease research.
Effective January 1, 2015, BSDPF will transition its daily operations to MJFF and refocus its funding on the newly established Bachmann-Strauss Prize for Excellence in Dystonia Research, an annual $100,000 research grant aimed at increasing public awareness of the disease, recognizing key scientific discoveries, and incentivizing the work of dedicated researchers. The first Bachmann-Strauss Prize will be presented in May 2015.
For nearly a decade, BSDPF and MJFF have collaborated on major studies, shared scientific advisors, and funded many of the same researchers. A number of the most important advances in understanding dystonia have come from Parkinson's disease research, including MJFF's work in basal ganglia circuitry and deep brain stimulation.
"In creating this alliance, MJFF's drive to accelerate Parkinson's drug development continues to move forward," said Todd Sherer, CEO of the Michael J. Fox Foundation. "Partnering with BSDPF allows us to deepen our work together in support of high-impact scientific findings that will benefit both dystonia and Parkinson's patients."
"Our foundation has always served a dual mission of funding research to find better treatments for both dystonia and Parkinson's," said Bonnie Strauss, founder and president of BSDPF. "By aligning with MJFF now and taking on this new role, we have opportunities to make an even greater impact and generate more awareness for dystonia on a much larger and brighter stage. It’s an opportune time to strategically shift our approach and leverage the current renewed interest in studying the brain and its disorders."