September 28  —  September 29, 2022

Grand Challenges in Parkinson's Disease

Grand Challenges in Parkinson’s Disease brings together hundreds of scientists, clinicians and people with Parkinson’s to explore the latest in Parkinson’s disease translational research. The 2022 symposium, Modifying Progression — From Molecules to Trials, will highlight recent advances that may fuel development of therapies to slow or stop disease progression — something not possible with current treatments. Speakers will highlight both the underlying molecular science of Parkinson’s and the outcomes of new clinical trials. They also will explore the role of mitochondrial function, neuroinflammation, alpha-synuclein and lysosomes in Parkinson’s, with a focus on how these factors may be targeted with disease-modifying treatments. Lastly, they will spotlight new insights into GLP-1 agonists and c-Abl inhibition as potential therapeutic avenues.

Van Andel Institute and Cure Parkinson’s are thrilled to once again host Rallying to the Challenge, a meeting designed for and by people with Parkinson’s, advocates and care partners that delves into how the Parkinson’s community can impact and accelerate research.

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

8:00 am 

Welcome and introduction of Jay Van Andel Award honoree

8:10 am 

Jay Van Andel Award for Outstanding Achievement in Parkinson’s Disease Research lecture

Anthony E. Lang, O.C., M.D., RCP, FAAN, FCAHS, FRSC
University of Toronto and Toronto Western Hospital

Anthony E. Lang, O.C., M.D., RCP, FAANFCAHS, FRSC
9:10 am 

Discussion

9:25 am 

Break

Session 1: Mitochondrial function in Parkinson’s disease

9:40 am 

J. Timothy Greenamyre, M.D., Ph.D.

Pittsburgh Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases, University of Pittsburgh

J. Timothy Greenamyre, M.D., Ph.D.
10:10 am 

Oliver Bandmann, M.D., Ph.D.

Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience

Oliver Bandmann, M.D., Ph.D.
10:40 am 

Matt Klein, M.D., M.S., FACS

PTC Therapeutics

Matt Klein, M.D., M.S., FACS
11:10 am 

Abstract Selected Talk

11:25 am 

Discussion

11:40 am 

Lunch

Session 2: GLP-1 Agonists

1:00 pm 

Nigel Greig, Ph.D.

National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health

1:30 pm 

Wassilios Meissner, M.D., Ph.D., FEAN

University Hospital Bordeaux

Wassilios Meissner, M.D., Ph.D., FEAN
2:00 pm 

Michele Tagliati, M.D., FAAN

Cedar-Sinai Medical Center

Michele Tagliati, M.D., FAAN
2:30 pm 

Discussion

2:45 pm 

Break

Session 3: c-Abl Inhibition

3:00 pm 

Milton Werner, Ph.D.

Inhibikase Therapeutics, Inc.

Milton Werner, Ph.D.
3:30 pm 

Tanya Simuni, M.D., FAAN

Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Tanya Simuni, M.D., FAAN
4:00 pm 

Phillippe Damier, M.D., Ph.D., FEAN

University of Nantes

Phillippe Damier, M.D., Ph.D., FEAN
4:25 pm 

Abstract Selected Talk

4:40 pm 

Discussion

5:00 pm  - 7:30 pm

Poster session and dinner

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Session 4: Alpha-synuclein

8:00 am 

Tiago Outeiro, Ph.D.

University Medical Center Goettingen

Tiago Outeiro, Ph.D.
8:30 am 

Denise Barbut, M.D., FRCP

Enterin, Inc.

9:00 am 

Gunther Staffler, Ph.D.

AC Immune SA

9:25 am 

Abstract Selected Talk

9:40 am 

Discussion

10:00 am 

Break

Session 5: Neuroinflammation

10:15 am 

Ashley Harms, Ph.D.

The University of Alabama at Birmingham

Ashley Harms, Ph.D.
10:45 am 

David Standaert, M.D., Ph.D.

The University of Alabama at Birmingham

David Standaert, M.D., Ph.D.
11:15 am 

Alan Watt, Ph.D., MBA

NodThera

11:45 am 

Abstract Selected Talk

12:00 pm 

Discussion

12:15 pm 

Lunch

Tom Isaacs Award Presentation

1:30 pm 

Tom Isaacs Award Presentation

1:45 pm 

Report from the Rallying to the Challenge Meeting

Session 6: Lysosomal Targets

2:15 pm 

Lena Burbulla, Ph.D.

Biomedical Center, LMU Munich

Lena Burbulla, Ph.D.
2:45 pm 

Judy Peterschmitt, Ph.D.

Sanofi

3:15 pm 

Ravi Jagasia, Ph.D.

F. Hoffman-LaRoche AG

3:45 pm 

Discussion

4:00 pm 

Closing remarks

Professor of Movement Disorders
Honorary Consultant Neurologist,
Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience

Prof. Bandmann went to Medical School in Munich, Germany and did his PhD at the Institute of Neurology, Queen Square, London. He is now based at the Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience (SITraN). His group undertook the first ever drug screen in genetically stratified Parkinson’s disease patient tissue. 2000 compounds were assessed for their rescue effect on mitochondrial function. Ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) was identified as a particularly promising compound. UDCA has already been in clinical use for > 30 yr and is therefore an ideal candidate for the drug-repositioning strategy. He subsequently took UDCA into a phase II, proof of concept clinical trial, the “UP Study” (UDCA in Parkinson’s disease, NCT03840005). The novel trial design included 31PMR-spectroscopy to confirm target engagement and sensor-based assessment of motor impairment to objectively quantify disease progression. 

President and CMO, Enterin, Inc.

Dr. Denise Barbut is a Professor of Neurology & Former Chief of the Neurovascular Division and of the Stroke research Program at Weill-Cornell Medical College, Cornell University. Her scientific interests have centered on neuroprotection and neurodegenerative disorders.  She trained as a neurologist in the UK and the USA, receiving her MD. from University College, London. Her post-graduate training included Imperial College, the Brompton, the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery and Cornell University. She is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of the UK. Subsequently she became Professor of Neurology at Cornell University. She holds close to 200 patents and has published over 70 peer-reviewed articles. Her current research interests are focused on the role of aminosterols in the prevention and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. She co-founded Enterin with Michael Zasloff in 2016, and currently serves as President, CMO, and Board Member. 

Heisenberg Professor for Metabolic Biochemistry of Neurodegenerative Diseases,
Biomedical Center, LMU Munich

Lena Burbulla, PhD, serves as Heisenberg Professor for Metabolic Biochemistry of Neurodegenerative Diseases at the Biomedical Center, LMU Munich, since July 2021. She spent the past 9 years at MGH, Harvard Medical School, Boston, and Northwestern University, Chicago, where she conducted compelling research on pathologic mechanisms in Parkinson’s disease with a focus on dysfunctional dopamine metabolism and its contribution to diminished glucocerebrosidase function during her time as postdoctoral research fellow and Research Assistant Professor in the laboratory of Dimitri Krainc.  

The overarching goal of her own laboratory is now to further define the underlying determinants of vulnerability of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra leading to midbrain neuron loss in PD and related disorders. Therefore, iPSC cultures are differentiated into midbrain dopaminergic neurons, but also astrocytes and microglia, to examine cell autonomous as well as the contribution of non-cell autonomous factors to neuron degeneration. Specifically, her lab is interested in the interactions between dopamine, iron, and oxidant stress with an emphasis on deciphering species-specific differences that may explain the incomplete recapitulation of human pathology in currently available animal models.  

Professor,
University of Nantes

Philippe Damier attended the University of Grenoble in France and, after completing his undergraduate studies in Biological Sciences, graduated from the Medical School in 1989. He was resident in Neurology at the University of Paris VI Pitié-Salpêtrière. He obtained a thesis in Neurosciences (PhD) in 1994 and spent a year as a postdoctoral fellow in Ann Graybiel’s lab (Boston, MA). Philippe became an assistant professor in Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital in 1995, before heading the Clinical Research Center in 1997 (under Yves Agid’s chair).

In 1999, he was appointed as a full professor of Neurology at the University of Nantes. Amongst Professor Damier’s responsibilities at the Medical School, University Hospital of Nantes, he chaired both the Department of Neurology and the Clinical Research Center. He is currently in charge of the expert center in Parkinson’s disease for the West part of France and president of scientific committee of the French Parkinson patient association.

He has published more than 250 scientific articles in international journals, most of them in the field of Parkinson’s disease and movement disorders.

In 2011, he got a Master in Business Administration in Melbourne (Australia). He published three books about managerial decision (2014, 2017, 2022).

Love Family Professor & Vice Chair of Neurology
Director, Pittsburgh Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases
University of Pittsburgh

Dr. Tim Greenamyre is the Love Family Professor and vice-chair of neurology and director of the Pittsburgh Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases (PIND) and the American Parkinson Disease Association Advanced Center for Parkinson’s Disease Research at the University of Pittsburgh. He completed his MD, PhD and residency training in Neurology at the University of Michigan. He has been listed as one of the ‘Best Doctors in America’ since the mid-1990s. His laboratory studies mechanisms of neurodegeneration in Parkinson’s disease, with a focus on gene-environment interactions. Translational studies use pharmacological and ‘gene therapy’ approaches. He was Chair of the 2019 Parkinson’s Disease Gordon Research Conference. For 17 years he was editor-in-chief of the scientific journal Neurobiology of Disease, and he is a current member of the SAB of Science Translational Medicine.

Senior Investigator, National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health

Nigel H. Greig, Ph.D., a tenured NIH scientist, leads a multi-disciplinary research group – the Drug Design & Development Section within the Intramural Research Program (IRP) of the National Institute on Aging (NIA), NIH – and cross-collaborates extensively with academic and Pharma related groups across the US and world. His focus is to design, synthesize and develop novel agents against pivotal targets in diseases prevalent in aging, with an emphasis on neurodegenerative disorders. Novel compounds are synthesized as pharmacologic probes to target biological mechanisms and, for those that appear involved in disease progression, the early integration of ‘drug-like’ features provides experimental therapeutics that are evaluated in cellular and animal disease models and then translated, in accord with regulatory requirements, into human clinical trials to test new hypotheses. Likewise, approved and well-tolerated drugs that target mechanisms of potential relevance across diseases are repurposed to new disorders for which effective therapeutics are lacking. This strategy allows Nigel and colleagues to both validate and invalidate disease targets, and, as key elements of clinical drug development, to patent and out-license new drug candidates to support their clinical development to public use. These patents belong to the NIH and, hence, to the US Government and US nation. As examples of ongoing work, Nigel’s research resulted in the development of GLP-1 receptor agonists, as well as the drugs Phenserine and Posiphen, as new treatments for neurodegenerative disorders that are now in multiple clinical trials. At a preclinical level, the Greig laboratory at NIA/NIH with collaborators developed the first amyloid precursor protein/amyloid-b lowering agents to enter human trials, selective acetyl- and butyryl-cholinesterase inhibitors that, likewise, have entered clinical trials, p53 inactivating agents and novel thalidomide analogs lacking cereblon binding. To undertake this work, an experienced multidisciplinary collaborative team covers preclinical medicinal chemistry and cellular/in vivo pharmacology to successfully test focused scientific hypotheses, and integrates this with neurological clinical trial design, biomarker evaluation (focused on plasma exosomes deriving from brain), clinical pharmacology and FDA regulatory requirements – to move new drug classes as well as repurposed drugs from conception into clinical trials. This team includes Nigel, his research section, and a focused group of collaborative basic science and clinical scientists from academia and pharma from across the globe. 

Assistant Professor, University of Alabama at Birmingham

Ashley S. Harms is an assistant professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) in the Department of Neurology and the Center for Neurodegeneration and Experimental Therapeutics. As a dedicated neuroimmunologist, Dr. Harms studies the cellular and immunological mechanisms underlying the initiation and progression of alpha-synucleinopathy disorders, with emphasis on antigen presentation and adaptive immunity. Utilizing novel genetic and viral model approaches to study the role of immune cell subsets, her lab focuses on how the protein alpha-synuclein contributes to microglial activation, peripheral immune cell infiltration, and subsequent activation of the immune response in Parkinson’s disease and multiple system atrophy. 

Neuroscientist, Lab Head and CNS Drug Discovery Project Leader, Neuroscience and Rare Disease Discovery in Roche Pharma and Early Development,
F. Hoffman-La Roche AG

Ravi Jagasia, Ph.D., is a Neuroscientist, lab head and CNS drug discovery project leader in Neuroscience and Rare Disease Discovery in Roche Pharma and Early Development. Dr. Jagasia holds a Ph.D. from the Max-Planck Institute für Neurobiologie and LMU München, and Master ’s and Bachelor’s of Science from the University of Toronto Department of Physiology. His lab focuses on modelling neuronal development disorders, lysosomal storage disorders, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s using pluripotent stem cell derived neurons. Projects started in his lab in both rare diseases such as Angelman’s Syndrome or in Alzheimer are now in clinical trials.

PTC Therapeutics, Inc.

Matthew B. Klein, M.D., M.S., FACS, is chief operating officer at PTC. Prior to joining PTC, Dr. Klein was chief executive officer and chief medical office of BioElectron Technology Corporation, a biotechnology company focused on the development of redox-active small molecules for mitochondrial disease and related disorders of oxidative stress. Before joining BioElectron, Dr. Klein was the Auth-Washington Research Foundation chair of restorative burn surgery at the University of Washington. Matt completed his bachelor’s degree in history and chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania where he graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. Dr. Klein earned his medical degree with honors from Yale University.

Professor and Jack Clark Chair for Parkinson’s Disease Research, University of Toronto

Director, Edmond J. Safra Program in Parkinson’s Disease, the Rossy Progressive Supranuclear Palsy Program and the Morton and Gloria Shulman Movement Disorders Clinic
Lily Safra Chair in Movement Disorders, Toronto Western Hospital, University Health Network

Dr. Lang is Professor and previous Director of the Division of Neurology at the University of Toronto where he holds the Jack Clark Chair for Parkinson’s Disease Research. He is the Director of the Edmond J. Safra Program in Parkinson’s Disease, the Rossy Progressive Supranuclear Palsy Program and the Morton and Gloria Shulman Movement Disorders Clinic and holds the Lily Safra Chair in Movement Disorders at the Toronto Western Hospital, University Health Network. He has published over 900 peer-reviewed papers and is one of the most highly cited investigators in the field of Movement Disorders. Among his awards and distinctions he was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2010; in 2011 he was elected a Fellow of both the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences and the Royal Society of Canada; in 2014 he was elected by the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society (MDS) as an Honorary Member “in recognition of his extraordinary contribution to the field of Movement Disorders”; and in 2017 he was the recipient of the first MDS Pan-American Section Leadership Award. In 2018 he received the Weston Brain Institute International Outstanding Achievement Award for work in accelerating the development of therapeutics for neurodegenerative diseases of aging and in 2020 he received the Dean’s Lifetime Achievement Award for global impact from the University of Toronto.

Head, Department of Neurology for Neurodegenerative Diseases, University Hospital Bordeaux

Co-Chair, French Reference Center for MSA

Deputy Director, Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases

Prof. Meissner is Head of the Department of Neurology for Neurodegenerative Diseases at the University Hospital Bordeaux, Co-chair of the French Reference Center for MSA, and Deputy Director of the Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases (CNRS UMR 5293) at the University Bordeaux. He received his medical degree in 1997 from Humboldt University Berlin in Germany and his Board Certification in Neurology in 2005 after completing his residency at the Charité University Hospital in Berlin and the University Hospital Bordeaux. In 2005, he was awarded a PhD in Neuroscience at the University Bordeaux. He was appointed Professor of Neurology at the University Bordeaux in 2012.

Prof. Meissner has served on several MDS Committees since 2013, including a leadership role as Chair of the International Education Committee between 2017-2019, and is the current MDS Treasurer-Elect. He has authored more than 190 peer-reviewed publications in the field of movement disorders, mostly dealing with PD and MSA, and has given over 125 invited lectures in more than 25 countries. His current research focuses on biological and clinical markers of disease progression in PD and MSA, and the development of new preclinical models and treatments for these disorders in a translational approach.

In his current research activities, Prof. Meissner chairs the MDS UMSARS Revision Task Force. He is co-coordinator of the LIXIPARK trial and has recently led a phase 1 trial with two vaccines directed against a-synuclein in MSA patients as part of the SYMPATH consortium. He has further coordinated the ARTEMIS consortium, which has evaluated the efficacy of distinct strategies targeting a-synuclein in preclinical models of MSA.

Full Professor and Director of the Department of Experimental Neurodegeneration,  University Medical Center Goettingen

Prof. Tiago Outeiro graduated in Biochemistry at the University of Porto and was an Erasmus student at the University of Leeds in the UK. Prof. Outeiro did his PhD thesis at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical research – MIT and worked as a Research Scientist at FoldRx Pharmaceuticals as a Research Scientist and Consultant. Prof. Outeiro was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Neurology of the Massachusetts General Hospital – Harvard Medical School where he focused on the study of Neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. Prof. Outeiro directed the Cell and Molecular Neuroscience Unit at IMM, Lisbon, from 2007 to 2014, and is currently Full Professor and the Director of the Department of Experimental Neurodegeneration at the University Medical Center Goettingen, in Germany. Prof. Outeiro holds a joint Professor position at Newcastle University in the UK. Prof. Outeiro has authored >250 research articles in international journals and participates in various international boards and in collaborative projects with the aim of identifying the molecular basis of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. He has been awarded multiple prizes and grants in Germany, from the European Union, and from other international funding agencies. Currently, Prof. Outeiro is a visiting Professor at UFRJ.

Global Project Head for Parkinson’s Disease in Neurology Development
Sanofi

Dr. Judith Peterschmitt is the Global Project Head for Parkinson’s disease in Neurology Development at Sanofi; prior to that, she served as the Clinical Lead of the Rare Disease Therapeutic Area at Sanofi Genzyme.

Dr. Peterschmitt has over 18 years of experience in clinical development. She has worked in multiple programs, including venglustat for GBA-Parkinson’s disease and Gaucher disease type 3, Cerdelga®, an oral GCS inhibitor for Gaucher disease type 1, and enzyme replacement therapies for lysosomal storage disorders: Olipudase alpha, in development for acid sphingomyelinase deficiency, Myozyme® (alglucosidase alfa) and Aldurazyme® (laronidase) for Pompe disease and mucopolysaccharidosis type I respectively.

Prior to joining Genzyme in 2004, Dr. Peterschmitt was a full-time geneticist and the Medical Director of the Center for Treatment of Lysosomal Storage Diseases, and of the Newborn Screening Program at Hospital Nacional Posadas, in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Dr. Peterschmitt gained her M.D. at the National University of Buenos Aires, Argentina and a Masters in Medical Sciences (Clinical Investigation) from Harvard–MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, MA, USA. She completed her training in pediatric and child neurology in Buenos Aires, newborn screening in Japan, and clinical and biochemical genetics at Boston Children’s Hospital, MA, USA.

Arthur C. Nielsen Jr. Professor of Neurology

Director, Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Center

Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. Simuni joined the faculty of the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in 2000 to build a multidisciplinary movement disorders center that is recognized by the Parkinson’s Foundation, Huntington Disease Society of America and Wilson’s Foundation as a Center of Excellence and serves as a training model in the region. She is the lead investigator of a number of clinical trials on experimental pharmacology, non-motor manifestations, and pharmacological management of PD. She serves on a number of Steering Committees for the PD national clinical trials, several committees for PSG and the PF. She is the Site PI and Steering Committee member for the largest PD biomarker initiative (PPMI study) and site PI for the Network for Excellence in Neuroscience Clinical Trials (NEXT). Dr. Simuni is an active member of the American Academy of Neurology, American Neurological Association, the Movement Disorders Society as well as the Parkinson’s Study Group

AC Immune SA

Günther Staffler is a biotech industry executive and multidisciplinary researcher with more than 25 years’ experience in bio-chemical and immunology research and in the establishment and management of drug development programs. He has extensive leadership and strategic oversight experience in early discovery to early clinical phase drug development phases with strong involvement in manufacturing operations. Before joining AC Immune, he was Chief Technology Officer at AFFiRiS AG where he led the development of different active immunotherapies for the treatment of non-communicable chronic diseases, including Parkinson’s disease and Hypercholesterolemia. Günther completed his degree in biochemistry and immunology at the University of Vienna. Apart from his research work at the Institute for Immunology he has been lecturer at the University of Vienna and at the University of Applied Sciences, FH Krems & Vienna.

John N. Whitaker Professor and Chair of the Department of Neurology, University of Alabama at Birmingham

Director, Alabama Morris K. Udall Center of Excellence in Parkinson’s Disease Research

Dr. Standaert graduated from Harvard College and received M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from Washington University in St. Louis. Following Neurology residency at the University of Pennsylvania, he was appointed a Howard Hughes Fellow and completed a three-year research and clinical fellowship in Movement Disorders at Massachusetts General Hospital. He was a member of the faculty at Harvard Medical School from 1995 to 2006 and then relocated to the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). Currently he is the John N. Whitaker Professor and Chair of the Department of Neurology and a senior member of the faculty of the Division of Movement Disorders. He directs the NIH-funded Alabama Morris K. Udall Center of Excellence in Parkinson’s Disease Research. He is Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board of the American Parkinson Disease Association, a Deputy Editor of the journal Movement Disorders, a Fellow of both the American Neurological Association and the American Academy of Neurology, a Councilor of the Association of University Professors of Neurology, and a member of the NIH/NINDS Board of Scientific Counselors. His lab has a long-standing interest in the basic mechanisms underlying Parkinson disease as well as the complications of therapy. 

Caron and Steven D. Broidy Chair, Movement Disorders; Director, Movement Disorders Program; Vice Chair, Department of Neurology; Professor, Neurology
Cedars Sinai

Dr. Michele Tagliati is a clinician and clinical researcher, investigating advanced therapeutics of Parkinson’s disease, dystonia and other movement disorders. He was among the pioneersdeveloping the use ofdeep brain stimulation (DBS) for movement disorders in the United States. Dr. Tagliati attended medical school and neurology residency in Rome, Italybefore moving to New York in 1993. He completed a second residency in neurology at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, during which time he was Chief resident. Following residency, he completed a fellowship in Movement Disorders at Beth Israel Medical Center and afterward joined the Departmentof Neurologyas an attending and faculty at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. In 2004, Dr. Tagliati moved back to MountSinai, where he was anAssociate Professor of Neurology and Division Chief of Movement Disorders. In 2010, accepted the position of Vice Chairman of Neurology and Director of Movement Disorders at Cedars Sinai Medical Centerin Los Angeles. In2015, he was awarded the Caron and Steven D. Broidy Endowed Chair for Movement Disorders.Dr. Tagliatihas received research grants and support in excess of 4 million dollars fromvarious agencies and foundations and has been a Principal Investigator in over 45 clinical trials exploring new medical and surgical therapies for Parkinson’s disease and dystonia. Currently, his research is directed at the study of non-motor and pre-motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, including investigator-initiated trials of liraglutide in Parkinson’s disease and adrenergic blockers in subjects at high risk of developing PD. Dr. Tagliati holds 2 international patents on subjects related to Parkinson prevention and DBS optimization.Dr. Tagliati is a diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.He has published over 120 peer-reviewed articles and 30 book chapters. In addition, heis co-author of the patient reference book Parkinson’s Disease for Dummies.Dr. Tagliati has lectured at conferences and academic institutions around the world and is one of the premier educators of DBS management, having directed –among others -theDBS programming course at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology. An active member of the American Academy of Neurology and the Movement Disorders Society, Dr. Tagliati also serves in theEditorial Boardof the Journal of Parkinson’s Diseaseand Nature Parkinson’s disease.

Chief Scientific Officer, NodThera

Dr. Watt has over 35 years of experience in drug discovery and development in both the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors. He is currently the Chief Scientific Officer of NodThera Inc., a biotech focused on the discovery and development of NLRP3 inhibitors for the treatment of inflammatory and neuroinflammatory disease. His previous roles include serving as Vice President of Therapeutics at Bicycle Therapeutics, as Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President of R&D at Trident Pharmaceuticals, and as Chief Executive Officer of Xenovium. Alan formerly led inflammasome discovery at GlaxoSmithKline, where he established the Pattern Recognition Receptor Discovery Performance Unit within GSK’s Immuno-Inflammation Centre of Excellence for Drug Discovery (CEDD). He also previously served as Head of Drug Metabolism and In Vivo Pharmacology at Merck’s Neuroscience Research Centre. Alan holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the University of Southampton, a Ph.D. in Drug Metabolism from the University of Hertfordshire and an MBA from the Open Business School. He has over 50 peer-reviewed scientific publications.

President and CEO, Inhibikase Therapeutics, Inc.

Dr. Milton Werner is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Inhibikase Therapeutics, a company developing novel protein kinase inhibitor therapeutics to treat neurodegenerative disease and viral infection inside and outside of the brain. Previously, Dr. Werner served as Vice President of Research at Celtaxsys, a cell-free immunotherapeutics company. From September 1996 until June 2007, Dr. Werner was a Head of the Laboratory of Molecular Biophysics at The Rockefeller University in New York City. Throughout his scientific career, Dr. Werner has been an innovator integrating chemistry, physics, and biology into a comprehensive approach to solving problems in medicine, including an explanation of the origin of “maleness” in humans, the mechanistic basis of several forms of leukemia and lymphoma and, more recently, the development of therapeutics that can halt and potentially reverse functional loss in neurodegenerative disease. 

Dr. Werner is the author or co-author of more than 70 research articles, reviews, and book chapters and has given lectures on his research work throughout the world. He is the recipient of numerous private and public research grants totaling more than $30 million. He is the recipient of several awards, including the Naito Memorial Foundation Prize, the Young Investigator Award from the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Foundation, the Research Chair from the Brain Tumor Society, and a $1 million Distinguished Young Scholars in Medical Research Award from the W. M. Keck Foundation. Dr. Werner received his Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, and his Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from the University of Southern California, and he was an NIH intramural postdoctoral fellow prior to his tenure at the Rockefeller University. 

When is Grand Challenges in Parkinson’s Disease and Rallying to the Challenge? How much does it cost?

Grand Challenges in Parkinson’s Disease and Rallying to the Challenge will take place September 28-29, 2022. The symposium and meeting will be offered in a hybrid format, both on-site at Van Andel Institute and virtually. Registration will open in spring 2022 and close in September 2022.

What if I need or other accommodations?

Please contact Kim Cousineau at kim.cousineau@vai.org to discuss any special accommodation needs.

How do I become a sponsor?

Please contact Kim Cousineau at kim.cousineau@vai.org for more information on sponsorship opportunities.

Code of Conduct Guidelines

We are dedicated to providing a harassment-free, non-discriminatory symposium experience for all participants, regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, disability, pregnancy, height, weight, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or other personal characteristics covered by applicable law. We will not tolerate harassment of conference participants in any form. We expect participants at our events to engage in constructive and professional discussions at all times. Harassment can include unwelcomed attention, inappropriate comments or jokes that refer to gender differences, sexual topics, requests for dates, or other sexual activities as well as the use of language that may demean or degrade individuals. These behaviors are not appropriate for any of our conference venues, including talks, workshops, networking sessions, poster sessions, social networking platforms, and other online media platforms. Any participant violating these guidelines will be removed from the symposium at the discretion of the conference organizers.

Anyone who has experienced the above, or who has witnessed such behavior, should notify Kim Cousineau at kim.cousineau@vai.org Anonymous reporting may also be done through the EthicsPoint Hotline.

Jay Van Andel Award for Outstanding Achievement in Parkinson’s Disease Research

The Jay Van Andel Award for Outstanding Achievement in Parkinson’s Disease Research was established in 2012 in memory of Van Andel Institute founder Jay Van Andel, who battled Parkinson’s disease for a decade before his death in 2004. The award is given to scientists who have made outstanding contributions to Parkinson’s disease research and who have positively impacted human health.

About Jay Van Andel

Entrepreneur and philanthropist Jay Van Andel, perhaps best known as the co-founder of Amway, founded Van Andel Institute in 1996 with his wife Betty. Mr. Van Andel saw opportunity in the landscape of his hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan, and imagined a thriving center for biomedical research, health care and the life sciences industry. He forged ahead in pursuing this dream despite his diagnosis of Parkinson’s, which eventually took his life in 2004.

In his autobiography, An Enterprising Life, Mr. Van Andel wrote, “Research into the causes and potential cures for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and other diseases is promising but requires much more support…I hope that my own contributions to medical research will be followed by increased support from other entrepreneurs, charitable foundations, and concerned individuals.”

Past Winners

2021 — Ted Dawson, M.D., Ph.D.
2020 — Daniela Berg, M.D., and Ron Postuma, M.D., M.Sc.
2019 — Ellen Sidransky, M.D.
2018 — K. Ray Chaudhuri, M.D., FRCP, D.Sc.
2017 — J. William Langston, M.D.
2016 — Stanley Fahn, M.D.
2015 — Robert Nussbaum, M.D., and Maria Grazia Spillantini, Ph.D., FMedSci, FRS
2014 — Andrew John Lees, M.D., FRCP, FMedSci
2013 — Alim-Louis Benabid, M.D., Ph.D.
2012 — Andrew Singleton, Ph.D.

Poster abstracts may be submitted during the registration process. The deadline to submit an abstract is September 2, 2022. For questions or to be added to our email list, please contact Kim Cousineau.

Eligibility

Students, postdoctoral fellows, faculty and research staff are welcome to submit an abstract. If the number of submitted poster abstracts exceeds the space, the organizers will select the abstracts that are most relevant to the conference theme.

Abstract format

Submitted abstracts should represent original research. The title should be brief and descriptive, and the body should include rationale, methods and results. Please prepare abstracts using the below template.

Abstract submission

Poster abstracts should be submitted during the registration process.

Questions?

Questions regarding abstract submission, posters, or the poster session can be directed to Kim Cousineau at Kim.Cousineau@vai.org.

TITLE OF ABSTRACT IN ALL CAPS (STYLE = TITLE)

Presenting Author1,2, Other Author1, and Last Author1,3(Style = Authors)

1First Dept., Institution, City, State, Country, 2Second Dept., Institution, City, State, Country, and 3Last Dept., Institution, City, State, Country (Style = Affiliations)

Body of abstract using 300 words or less. Define each abbreviation at first use. All fonts should be Arial, 11 pt. and text should be single-spaced. Once you have filled in this template, choose File>Save As and save your file as a Word document (.doc or .docx) with the filename lastname_abstract. (Style = Body)

EXAMPLE

THE ROLE OF A-SYNUCLEIN IN PARKINSON’S DISEASE PATHOLOGY

Jennifer Lamberts1 and Patrik Brundin1

1Department of Neurodegenerative Science, Van Andel Institute, Grand Rapids, MI, United States

The pathological hallmark of Parkinson’s disease (PD) is protein-rich, intraneuronal inclusions known as Lewy bodies and Lewy neurites, which are composed primarily of aggregates of misfolded a-synuclein (a-syn) protein. Recent studies suggest…

Please check back for our 2022 Rallying to the Challenge agenda.

The annual Grand Challenges in Parkinson’s Disease symposium, one of the most comprehensive Parkinson’s and neurodegenerative disease events in the United States, will take place Sept. 28–29, 2022. The 2022 symposium will offer a hybrid format with an on-site option at Van Andel Institute and a virtual option.

Grand Challenges in Parkinson’s Disease brings together global leaders in Parkinson’s and neurodegenerative disease research and features presentations aimed at professionals in the research/medical field, caregivers and people with Parkinson’s. The symposium provides attendees with insights into groundbreaking Parkinson’s disease research and highlights how translational research can impact new therapies and treatments for patients. The 2022 symposium is entitled Modifying Progression – From Molecules to Trials and will include presentations, poster sessions and addresses by global leaders in the field of Parkinson’s disease research.

Interested in sponsoring Grand Challenges in Parkinson’s Disease? Please reach out to Kim Cousineau at Kim.Cousineau@vai.org.

About Grand Challenges

Grand Challenges in Parkinson’s Disease is an annual scientific symposium that brings together scientists, clinicians, advocates and people with Parkinson’s to explore the latest innovative Parkinson’s disease research.

Since it was established in 2012, Grand Challenges has grown into a multi-faceted symposium that draws attendees from across the globe. Previous themes have explored the role of non-motor symptoms, genes and pathways, disease-modifying therapies, inflammation, clinical trials and drug development.

Programs from previous years

2022 Scientific Program Committee

Patrik Brundin, M.D., Ph.D. (co-chair) – Van Andel Institute
Simon Stott, Ph.D. (co-chair) – Cure Parkinson’s
Richard Wyse, M.D. (co-chair) – Cure Parkinson’s
David Devos, Ph.D., – University of Lille Nord de France
Caroline Williams-Gray, MRCP, Ph.D. – University of Cambridge
Karl Kieburtz, M.D., M.P.H – University of Rochester Medical Center
Dimitri Krainc, M.D., Ph.D. – Northwestern University
Gary Rafaloff – Patient Advocate
Clemens Scherzer, M.D. – Harvard Medical School
Tanya Simuni, M.D. FAAN – Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Malu Tansey, Ph.D. – University of Florida

Local Planning Committee

Kim Cousineau — Event manager and executive assistant, Van Andel Institute
Kayla Habermehl — Science communications specialist III, Van Andel Institute

For more information, please contact Kim Cousineau at Kim.Cousineau@vai.org.

About Rallying to the Challenge

In 2014, VAI and U.K.-based research charity The Cure Parkinson’s Trust held the first Rallying to the Challenge meeting in conjunction with Grand Challenges in Parkinson’s DiseaseRallying to the Challenge drew more than 100 influential advocates, people with Parkinson’s, and caregivers to the Institute to discuss how people with Parkinson’s can improve the clinical trial process. Over two days of talks, discussions and working groups, Rallying attendees laid the foundation for the beginnings of a patient charter and comprehensive toolkit to improve patient involvement in trials and to ensure their voices are heard.

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 more than 400 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 www.vai.org.

Thanks to our wonderful sponsors!

Session Sponsor

Discovery Sponsor

Supporting Sponsors