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Parkinson's Disease Foundation and American Parkinson Disease Association Collaborate to Cultivate Future Parkinson's Scientific Leaders

The Parkinson's Disease Foundation® (PDF®) and the American Parkinson Disease Association (APDA) are pleased to announce their collaboration on Summer Student Fellowships to support research that will help solve, treat and end Parkinson's disease. The collaboration expands opportunities for talented undergraduates and medical students to gain early exposure to careers in Parkinson's by conducting ten-week research fellowships with established leaders in the field. The collaboration reflects PDF and APDA's shared commitment to cultivating students' early interest and leadership in Parkinson's research.

"PDF and APDA share an urgency for improving the lives of the one million people in the US living with Parkinson's," said Robin Anthony Elliott, President, Parkinson's Disease Foundation. "And we know that all too often, young talented researchers — those who represent the future of our field — face challenges when beginning careers in science. We are committed to cultivating their early interest and commitment and welcoming them to the fight against Parkinson's."

Since 2002, PDF has funded nearly 200 summer student fellows, who have gone on to a variety of careers in medicine, health care and basic research. Similarly, APDA has funded more than 120 medical students through its Summer Research Fellowship program since 1984. These investments have not only enabled students to build their own research careers, but have also allowed students to contribute significantly to the Parkinson's research of established scientists with whom they work.

Through this collaboration, PDF and APDA are investing $60,000 toward Summer Student Fellowships. The collaboration offers undergraduate and medical students $4,000 in funding for Parkinson's research projects to be conducted over a ten-week period in the summer of 2016. It also expands the program by offering additional funding for qualified students to share their Parkinson's research findings with the scientific community at relevant conferences.

"This innovative partnership supports our mutual focus to inspire and invest in young scientists at a critical time in their educational and professional careers. APDA is delighted to combine efforts with PDF to ensure talented medical students are provided with important seed funding that could lead to a long term commitment to Parkinson's research while potentially helping to unlock the mysteries of this complex and devastating disease that impacts millions of families worldwide," said Leslie Chambers, President & CEO of APDA.

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