2021 Tom Isaacs Award honors leading Parkinson’s expert

NOTE: This release has been republished with permission from Cure Parkinson’s.

Cure Parkinson’s and Van Andel Institute (VAI) are delighted to announce Dr. Camille Carroll, Associate Professor in Neurology at University of Plymouth, as this year’s deserving winner of the Tom Isaacs Award. The award was presented today during the parallel, annual Grand Challenges in Parkinson’s Disease symposium and Rallying to the Challenge meeting, both of which were held virtually this year.

Dr. Carroll, who also holds the position of Honorary Consultant Neurologist at the University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust, has dedicated her career to improving the lives of people with Parkinson’s. She is driven toward ensuring that the care provided to those living with the condition meets their needs, and works to empower people with Parkinson’s and their families to help shape both healthcare models and clinical research.

Dr. Carroll is a shining example of the very essence of the Tom Isaacs award, which was set up in memory of Cure Parkinson’s late co-founder and President, to recognize a researcher who has significantly impacted the lives of people living with Parkinson’s and has involved people with Parkinson’s in a participatory way in their work.

Not only has Dr. Carroll ensured patient voice is central to all her clinical research projects, but patient collaboration underpins a new project with University College London (UCL) to improve clinical trial design for Parkinson’s. The EJS-ACT PD project will create a multi-arm, multi-stage platform that has potential to evaluate several new treatments at once and speed up the clinical trial process for disease modifying treatments.

Dr. Carroll actively encourages researchers, clinicians and people affected by Parkinson’s to work together. A research information day, facilitated by Dr. Carroll, resulted in the creation of the Peninsula Parkinson’s Research Interest Group (PenPRIG), an excellent biennial event and online resource which encourages people with Parkinson’s and their families in the Southwest of England and beyond to keep informed and get involved with research.

Dr. Carroll is also currently leading the Home Based Parkinson’s Care research project, utilizing user-friendly technology to allow more accurate monitoring of an individual’s symptoms, which will in turn help better inform healthcare decisions. People with Parkinson’s were heavily involved in the design, structuring and ongoing review of this trial.

Dr. Carroll has led the University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust to become one of the foremost research delivery sites for Parkinson’s studies in the UK, overseeing the development of a DNA bank and regional clinical research registers, while also developing and leading the award-winning Parkinson’s disease care service in Plymouth.

Helen Matthews, Deputy CEO of Cure Parkinson’s, said:

“Camille is a shining light in both Parkinson’s care and research. Camille truly recognises the importance of each individual’s experience of living with Parkinson’s. Her determination to ensure those affected by the condition are kept at the heart of research and healthcare decisions is inspirational, and a perfect example of the very ethos of this award. And simply, she is an outstandingly kind and caring member of the Parkinson’s community. Thank you, Camille, for all that you do.”

A member of the community who nominated Dr Carroll for this award, said:

“People living with Parkinson’s feel that Camille wants their involvement and that she values their views. She encourages people living with Parkinson’s to make their ideas known. Her energy, enthusiasm and approachable style attracts people living with Parkinson’s to join her projects.”

About Cure Parkinson’s

We’re here for the cure. Cure Parkinson’s is working with urgency to find new treatments to slow, stop and reverse Parkinson’s. Our funding and innovation has redefined the field of Parkinson’s research, enabling the world’s leading researchers to prioritise the next generation of drugs for clinical trial. Together we will conquer Parkinson’s.

Further information at cureparkinsons.org.uk

Cure Parkinson’s is the operating name of The Cure Parkinson’s Trust. The Cure Parkinson’s Trust is a registered charity in England and Wales (1111816) and Scotland (SCO44368) and is a company limited by guarantee – company number 5539974 (England and Wales).

About Van Andel Institute

Van Andel Institute (VAI) is committed to improving the health and enhancing the lives of current and future generations through cutting edge biomedical research and innovative educational offerings. Established in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 1996 by the Van Andel family, VAI is now home to nearly 500 scientists, educators and support staff, who work with a growing number of national and international collaborators to foster discovery. The Institute’s scientists study the origins of cancer, Parkinson’s and other diseases and translate their findings into breakthrough prevention and treatment strategies. Our educators develop inquiry-based approaches for K-12 education to help students and teachers prepare the next generation of problem-solvers, while our Graduate School offers a rigorous, research-intensive Ph.D. program in molecular and cellular biology. Learn more at vai.org.