Award honors scientists who strive to improve the lives of people with Parkinson’s

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (September 27, 2018) — Van Andel Research Institute and The Cure Parkinson’s Trust announce Bastiaan Bloem, M.D., Ph.D., and Simon Stott, Ph.D., as the recipients of the 2018 Tom Isaacs Award, which was established in memory of Trust co-founder and champion of the Parkinson’s community Tom Isaacs.

Bloem is the co-founder and medical director of Parkinson Center Nijmegen and co-director of ParkinsonNet at Radboud University Medical Center in the Netherlands. ParkinsonNet provides patients across the Netherlands increased access to Parkinson’s experts via the Internet and in person, making it easier for patients to get the care they need. Currently, ParkinsonNet links together 70 professional networks across the country.

Stott is a research associate in the lab of Dr. Roger Barker at Cambridge Center for Brain Repair in the United Kingdom and is an active member of the Parkinson’s Research Advocacy Group. Since 2015, Stott has run Science of Parkinson’s, a website dedicated to translating the complex science behind the disease and new breakthroughs into an accessible, patient-friendly format.

Both recipients are tireless advocates for the Parkinson’s community, whose inclusive work and extensive outreach helps shrink the gap between scientists and patients.

Isaacs passed away in May 2017. In the spirit of his 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 400 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 Research Institute or donate by visiting vari.vai.org.