Award honors Parkinson’s pioneer


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (Sept. 27, 2017) — Van Andel Research Institute and The Cure Parkinson’s Trust announce Thomas Foltynie, B.Sc., MBBS, MRCP, Ph.D., as the recipient of the inaugural Tom Isaacs Award, which was established in memory of Trust co-founder and champion of the Parkinson’s community Tom Isaacs. Foltynie is a consultant neurologist at University College London, and the senior author of a groundbreaking study that shows the diabetes drug exenatide may interfere with Parkinson’s progression, something no current medication can do.

Isaacs passed away in May of this year. In the spirit of Isaacs’ ethos, recipients of the award must have had a significant impact on the lives of people with Parkinson’s and/or involved people with Parkinson’s in a participatory way in their work.


Van Andel Institute (VAI) is an independent nonprofit biomedical research and science education organization committed to improving the health and enhancing the lives of current and future generations. Established by Jay and Betty Van Andel in 1996 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, VAI has grown into a premier research and educational institution that supports the work of more than 360 scientists, educators and staff. Van Andel Research Institute (VARI), VAI’s research division, is dedicated to determining the epigenetic, genetic, molecular and cellular origins of cancer, Parkinson’s and other diseases and translating those findings into effective therapies. The Institute’s scientists work in onsite laboratories and participate in collaborative partnerships that span the globe. Learn more about Van Andel Institute or donate by visiting 100% To Research, Discovery & Hope®

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