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The Center for the Study of Parkinson’s Disease (CSPD) is the primary basic research unit at UCLA dedicated to addressing the unmet demand for treatments that can stop or even reverse the course of the of this devastating disease.

Basic research projects at the CSPD are closely connected to clinical and epidemiological studies in Parkinson’s patients. This unique collaborative relationship between clinical and basic research ensures that any clinical findings are further investigated in the lab, while discoveries in the lab can also be rapidly applied in the clinic.

Under the direction of Marie-Francoise Chesselet, MD, PhD, the UCLA CSPD encompasses a number of multi-disciplinary and collaborative programs, focused on uncovering the genetic, molecular, and cellular events underlying disease onset and progression.  Using animal and cellular models, and comprehensive studies in human subjects, our team of scientists have identified crucial pathways and molecules involved in degeneration and neuroprotection, and have gained novel insights into genetic and environmental risk factors and their interactions in disease and health.

Currently the center is supported by two major Center grants from the National Institutes of Health - a Morris K. Udall Parkinson disease Center of Excellence, and the Center for Gene Environment in Parkinson’s disease - and has been designated a Center for Advanced Research from the American Parkinson Disease Association for over a decade. In addition, investigators in the Center are supported by multiple awards from the National Institutes of Health, the Veterans Administration, the Michael J. Fox Foundation, and a number of biotechnology companies. The CSPD continues to stimulate interest in PD research by providing a number of pilot grant opportunities designed to attract seasoned investigators from other fields who can contribute their expertise

The training and education of the next generation of scientists and clinicians is an integral part of the CSPD mission.  In addition to the training they receive in the laboratory, undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctoral scholars participate in a number of seminars and discussion groups with other colleagues, ensuring each receives an in-depth and well rounded education in the latest advances in PD research.

For more detailed information, please visit the CSPD website.


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