$161M worth of Parkinson’s research funding awarded across the globe

The Aligning Sciences Across Parkinson’s (ASAP) initiative has announced the 21 teams to receive grant funding. The ambitious programme aims to accelerate the pace of discovery towards a cure for Parkinson’s.

ASAP is a basic research initiative that aims to foster collaboration and resources to tackle key knowledge gaps in the basic mechanisms that contribute to Parkinson’s development and progression. 

Research funded through ASAP builds on significant strides made by the research community, including research funded by Parkinson’s UK. It will accelerate the pace of discovery and direct work towards a cure for everyone with the condition.

The first round of grants have been awarded to programmes of research investigating the genetics of Parkinson’s and how the brain and immune system interact. Of the 21 teams receiving a total of $161 million in research funding, 4 teams are being led by UK-based researchers.

Introducing the UK-led projects

While a full list of all the ASAP grantees and their projects can be viewed at parkinsonsroadmap.org, the UK-based lead investigators are as follows:

  • Dario Alessi, PhD (University of Dundee) whose project will help us understand how mutations in the LRRK2 gene cause Parkinson's. 
  • John Hardy, PhD (University College London) whose project will dissect the genetic variability underlying differences in the progression of Parkinson’s with the aim to slow the condition.
  • Nicholas Wood, PhD (University College London) whose project will address the fundamental mechanisms underlying the accumulation of alpha-synuclein and the impact of genetic risk factors in these processes.
  • Anthony Schapira, MD (University College London) whose project will clarify the role of intestinal bacteria in Parkinson and how this interacts with changes in the GBA gene to provide a new therapeutic target.

Claire Bale, Head of Research Communications and Engagement at Parkinson’s UK, said: 

“Delivering life-changing new treatments for Parkinson’s is a global effort and this injection of vital funds from the ASAP initiative will accelerate breakthroughs.

“Of the 21 teams receiving funding, 4 are led by UK-based researchers. We’re proud to support these leading scientists who have helped make the UK the powerhouse for Parkinson’s research that it is today. 

“This is an exciting time for Parkinson’s research, and we are working alongside scientists, companies, people with the condition and organisations like ASAP to find better treatments and one day a cure.”


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