The UC Academic Health Center has accelerated Cincinnatiís effort to combat Parkinsonís disease by recruiting six experts in the field.
The six, four of them internationally known scientists who have joined UC as a group from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, will work with existing Parkinsonís teams at the Neuroscience Institute at the University of Cincinnati and University Hospital.
ďFrom this time forward, no one from the Tristate area who suffers from Parkinsonís disease need go anyplace else for treatment,Ē said Joseph Broderick, MD, chair of UCís Department of Neurology.
ďThese new recruits, working together in the lab and at the bedside, will make UC one of only a few places in the country with clinicians, surgeons and scientists who are collaborating closely to find new treatments for Parkinsonís disease,Ē Dr. Broderick said.
A neurological disease that progressively robs its victims of motor skills, such as the ability to control movement and speech, Parkinsonís affects 1.5 million people nationwide, striking most when they are in their late 50s.
The disease gained international attention when it claimed the life of Pope John Paul. Actor Michael J. Fox also suffers from the disease, and his Michael J. Fox Foundation provides thousands of dollars to researchers to fight it.
UCís six new recruits are:
Researchers Timothy Collier, PhD, Kathy Steece-Collier, PhD, Caryl Sortwell, PhD, and Jack Lipton, PhD, all from Rush University. Drs. Collier, Steece-Collier and Sortwell have joined UCís Department of Neurology and Dr. Lipton, the Department of Psychiatry.
Physicians Alberto Espay, MD, from Toronto, Canada, and Andrew Duker, MD, who recently completed his residency at UC and is UCís first Davis Phinney/Donald Krumme Fellow in Movement Disorders
They will be working closely with UC neurologist Fredy Revilla, MD, head of the Division of Movement Disorders; neurosurgeon George Mandybur, MD; and Kim Seroogy, PhD, director of the Selma Schottenstein Harris Laboratory for Research in Parkinson's. Last year, Dr. Seroogy received a four-year, $250,000 Michael J. Fox Foundation grant to continue his research. Dr. Sortwell and Dr. Steece-Collier also each hold a $250,000 grant from the Fox foundation.
ďRecruitment of these scientists and physicians reinforces a recent pattern of multidisciplinary, cross-department recruiting at UC,Ē said Dr. Broderick.
ďThe Neuroscience Institute at UC and University Hospital now has the mass of experts needed to comprehensively approach Parkinsonís disease from both a research and a clinical perspective.
ďThe bottom line is that we are focused on finding different ways to prevent and slow down the progression of the disease, going beyond just giving medications to treat the symptoms. The more that basic scientists and clinicians work together, the more apt we are to discover new treatments.Ē
Funding for recruiting the Chicago researchers and for the Davis Phinney/Donald Krumme Fellowship came in part from a $100,000 grant from the Davis Phinney Foundation. The gift was supported by proceeds from the inaugural Sunflower Revolution, a gala and bike ride held in Cincinnati last July.
This yearís Sunflower Revolution II, scheduled for August 19Ė21, will include a gala and auction Friday, Aug. 19, an educational symposium and expo for Parkinsonís patients, caregivers and physicians, on Saturday, Aug. 20, both at the Hyatt Regency downtown, and 25- and 62-mile bike rides in Loveland on Sunday, Aug. 21.
The Sunflower Revolution was named by Kathy Krumme, a Cincinnati cyclist and bicycle shop manager whose father, Donald Krumme, suffers from Parkinsonís. The sunflower is not only a familiar sight at the Tour de France, the worldís most famous cycling event, it is also seen as a symbol of hope.