Australian Parkinson's disease Research

By Ben Young

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Shake It Up Australia Foundation is crowd funding for a Parkinson's disease research project targeted at identifying ways to halt or slow the disease.

About the project

Project Title:

Therapeutic inhibition of brain inflammation in pre-clinical models of Parkinson's disease using novel drugs.

The Team:
The research team at University of Queensland is led by Associate Professor Trent Woodruff, and includes Dr Richard Gordon as the lead post-doctoral scientist driving the research. For this project the team is also working with other researchers at UQ with specific areas of expertise in Immunology (Dr Kate Schroder), and Drug Development (Prof Matt Cooper and Dr Avril Robertson).

What area of Parkinson's is being researched?
The major research focus is exploring the deleterious roles of the innate immune response and the chronic neuro-inflammation that occurs in the brains of patients with Parkinson's disease. The team works closely with their collaborators both in Australia and internationally to identify, develop and test novel drugs to slow down or reduce this sustained neuro-inflammation in preclinical disease models.

Why is this research important?
There is accumulating evidence from patient studies and preclinical models which suggests that an overactive immune response in Parkinson's disease patients can accelerate the loss of the dopamine producing brain cells. This consequently drives the progression of Parkinson's disease. The aim is to therefore target this overactive immune response and the excessive neuro-inflammation in order to slow down or halt disease progression.

What is the research trying to discover?
A better treatment for Parkinson's disease, or a feasible means to significantly halt the progressive worsening of disease in patients.

How are we planning on spending the money?

The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research has approved a $249,629USD grant for the University of Queensland to undertake this two year study and has also committed 50% of the funds.

The remaining 50% ($147,315AUD) is to come from Shake It Up Australia Foundation and we are looking for your help to fund our commitment.

And tell us about those perks…

Any donor who contributes over $5000 to this campaign will have the opportunity to join researchers and Shake It Up Founding Director, Clyde Campbell, for lunch and a tour of the research facilities at The University of Queensland

Who's behind this campaign

Shake It Up Australia Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation established in 2011 to promote and fund Parkinson's disease research in Australia. The Foundation was established by Clyde Campbell, a father of three and business owner who was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 2009 at the age of 44.

Our mission is clear; to find the cure for Parkinson's disease.

We set about pursuing that mission by funding world leading Australian research in partnership with The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research. This partnership gives us and our supporters confidence that the Australian Parkinson's research we are funding is internationally competitive, strategic and non-redundant.

Another unique aspect of Shake It Up is the fact that our Founding Directors, Clyde and Greg Campbell personally fund all of the Foundation's operating and administrative costs. This means that 100% of every dollar donated goes to funding leading Parkinson's research.

Since establishment in 2011 Shake It Up has committed in excess of $1.8M to 14 Parkinson's research projects at 7 separate research institutes around Australia.

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Team Members

Ben Young