Your support is critical to ensuring that projects like those led by Aguirre and Fon will continue in the next funding cycle.
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Your Support Fuels Progress
Parkinson SuperWalk is YOUR opportunity to change the course of Parkinson’s in Canada. Through SuperWalk, you directly support a better life today for Canadians living with Parkinson’s; a world without Parkinson’s tomorrow.
Research is the path to that world without Parkinson’s.
Since 1981, the Parkinson Canada Research Program has invested more than $27 million in funding for:
- High-quality, innovative Canadian research by established and promising investigators.
- Discovery stage research where investigators test new theories and pursue promising new leads.
- Researchers at the beginning of their careers in order to foster the next generation of Parkinson’s scientists.
- Novel research to build greater capacity, promote creativity and engage more researchers.
- More than 528 awards, fellowships, and grants that teach us more about diagnosing and treating Parkinson’s disease.
Through the Parkinson Canada Research Program you fuel innovative, discovery research that holds the key to unlocking the mysteries of Parkinson’s disease. Some of those mysteries are on their way to being solved. Take this big idea, for example:
Ted Fon, a current member of Parkinson Canada’s Research Policy Committee, was awarded a Parkinson Canada grant which he applied to study a protein called Parkin. He and his colleagues were the first to discover the three-dimensional structure of the protein, mutations of which have been linked to causing Parkinson’s disease. This was a significant discovery at the time, and now your support is putting his findings to work.
Since then, many researchers funded through your support of Parkinson SuperWalk have continued investigating this protein. Fast forward to 2016 when your support funded 18 new projects through the Parkinson Canada Research Program, including Jacob Aguirre who received a grant to investigate Parkin. Specifically, he’s studying how to use this understanding of Parkin to make sure brain cells produce energy and stay healthy.
“Our hope is that if we can get a firm understanding of Parkin’s atomic structure, that this can provide clues into its function in the cell and why these mutations are causing dysfunction for this protein, resulting in disease,” Aguirre says. “We’re hoping that we can use a rational drug design method to come up with small molecules or drugs that might activate this protein. This is a much more targeted form of drug discovery.”
Click play to hear from Jacob himself on how your support, and his project, is set to make a difference.