NWPF

News ArchivesRead News

New research program tackles Parkinson’s disease

Tuesday December 19, 2006

Jordana Lenon

December 14, 2006(University of Wisconsin System) - A new research collaboration at the University of Wisconsin-Madison aims to move promising new therapies for Parkinson’s disease from primates to patients.

Based at the Wisconsin National Primate Research Center and named the Preclinical Parkinson’s Disease Research Program, the collaboration became official in November. Joseph Kemnitz, professor of physiology and Primate Center director, is the program’s executive director. Renowned Parkinson’s disease expert Marina Emborg, senior scientist at the Primate Center and in the department of anatomy, is scientific director. "Our goal is to hasten discoveries that will lead to new therapies for Parkinson’s disease, with an emphasis on cell and gene-based therapies," says Kemnitz.

Through the new program, the Primate Center is poised to become the country’s centralized resource for Parkinson’s disease research using nonhuman primate models, especially macaques, Kemnitz says. Program collaborators and funding agencies that will help develop the necessary laboratory and animal resources at the Primate Center include WinCon, a biotechnology company in Nanning, Guangxi, China; researchers at the Beijing Institute of Geriatrics, and an anonymous foundation.

"Macaques are regarded by many as the most useful model for Parkinson’s research," Kemnitz says. "These collaborators chose the Wisconsin National Primate Research Center because we have a well established infrastructure for conducting research using nonhuman primates, and UW-Madison has a broad range of expertise directly relevant to this program."

That expertise lies in the UW-Madison’s renowned capabilities in brain imaging technology, stem cell biology and clinical biomanufacturing. Researchers from the Primate Center, Waisman Center, School of Medicine and Public Health, School of Pharmacy, and other campus entities are already developing promising Parkinson’s therapies based on embryonic stem cell derivations, trophic (nutritive) factors, compounds called thiazolidenediones, deep brain stimulation and other treatment avenues.

"We’re committed to finding a cure for Parkinson’s disease," Emborg says.

Recent News

Aug 22 - Parkinson's Disease Could Be Diagnosed Through Eye Check, Mice Help Researchers In Further Study
Aug 22 - Machine learning to unlock Parkinson's disease mystery
Aug 21 - Cognitive control plays major role in Parkinson’s Gait
Aug 15 - 'I've Never Felt Constrained': After Parkinson's Diagnosis, Chestnut Hill Man Turns To Drumming
Aug 11 - Virtual reality and treadmill training could help prevent falls in older adults
Aug 9 - New laboratory model replicates early phase of Parkinson's before onset of motor symptoms
Aug 8 - Marshall University Scientists Develop A New Approach For Parkinson’s Disease Therapy
Aug 5 - Cambuslang woman diagnosed with Parkinson's at 42 is set to trek through Alps
Aug 4 - Active Music Therapy May Be Beneficial in Parkinson's
Aug 1 - Mini-Brains? Scientists Grow Rice Grain-Sized Brains to Aid Parkinson’s Research
Jul 30 - Lab method sheds light on how genetic mutations cause inherited Parkinson's disease
Jul 27 - Indicators of Parkinson's disease risk found in unexpected places
Jul 24 - Parkinson's: Mutant gene interaction may pave the way for new treatments
Jul 22 - Boxing training used to fight against Parkinson's disease
Jul 17 - Stem cell treatment breakthrough could cure Parkinson’s patients
Jul 14 - Cancer drug shows early promise for Parkinson's disease
Jul 13 - Opinion: Dividing the Caregiving Responsibilities Between Siblings
Jul 12 - Researchers make advance in possible treatments for Gaucher, Parkinson’s diseases
Jul 11 - Parkinson’s Head Trauma Link Looks Even Stronger
Jul 7 - Penn students’ start-up XEED puts wearables to work against Parkinson’s disease