The National Stem Cell Foundation (NSCF) and The Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF) partnered to fund the pre-clinical development of a therapy to replace the dopamine-producing neurons that are lost in Parkinson’s disease, the second most common brain disease after Alzheimer’s.
The partnership supported the translational work of Dr. Penny Hallett, Director of the Neuroregeneration Institute at Harvard Medical School/McLean Hospital, and Dr. Ole Isacson, founding Director of the Neuroregeneration Institute and principal faculty of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute.
The goal of this research was to implant dopamine-producing neurons developed from a patient’s own skin stem cells to alleviate or prevent Parkinson’s motor symptoms of tremor, rigidity, and slowness.
Working together at the Neuroregeneration Research Institute, Drs. Isacson and Hallett worked to accelerate treatments of Parkinson’s disease and other degenerative brain disorders. Their research team has a keen focus on improving individuals’ lives, and their work has been the basis for numerous innovations that are creating hope for patients and their families.