APDA Center for Advanced Research

Rutgers – Robert Wood Johnson Medical School is home to an Advanced Center for Parkinson's Research supported by the American Parkinson Disease Association. The Center is directed by M. Maral Mouradian, MD, William Dow Lovett Professor of Neurology, and Director of RWJMS Institute for Neurological Therapeutics. The comprehensive team includes scientists and expert clinicians.

APDA Centers for Advanced Research must meet the highest academic standards and be distinguished leaders in the field of PD research. There are eight such centers across the country

The funding of this Center supports a large research program, which includes:

  • Investigations into the molecular and genetic underpinnings of Parkinson disease
  • Discovery of new pathways that can be targeted for the purpose of slowing down disease progression
  • Several projects aimed at reducing the toxicity of the pathogenic protein alpha-synuclein
  • Identifying new compounds that have the potential to be developed as treatments for modifying the course of the disease
  • Projects aimed at understanding complications of L-dopa therapy and developing improved therapy for L-dopa induced dyskinesia
  • Studies to optimize Deep Brain Stimulation procedures
  • Depression care in Parkinson disease

Parkinson Disease projects include:

  • Synergistic Neuroprotective Mechanisms of Coffee Components in Parkinson's Disease
  • Developing Novel RNA-Based Therapeutics for Parkinson’s Disease
  • Manipulating Gene Expression in the Dyskinesias of Parkinson's Disease
  • Development of a New Treatment for Levodopa-Induced Dyskinesias Targeting Opioid Receptors
  • Validation of Transglutaminase 2 as a Therapeutic Target to Reduce alpha-Synuclein Aggregation and Toxicity in Parkinson’s Disease
  • PP2A Dysregulation in the Pathogenesis of alpha-Synucleinopathies
  • alpha-Synuclein Regulation by microRNAs
  • Neuroprotective Activity of DJ-1 in Parkinson’s Disease
  • Translational regulation by DJ-1
  • Post Market Clinical Follow Up Evaluating the Infinity Deep Brain Stimulation Implantable Pulse Generator System (PROGRESS)
  • Computational Neuromodulation: Neuromarkers to personalize Deep Brain Stimulation
  • Optimization of CRW stereotactic frame mounting and subthalamic nucleus (STN) targeting.
  • Refinement of a high fidelity recording system and quantitative visual activity map for real time functional localization of targets during DBS surgery
  • Improving access to depression care in Parkinson’s disease: A telehealth approach
  • The INSYTE (Management of Parkinson's Disease Psychosis in Actual Practice) Study. Sponsored by Acadia Pharmaceuticals
  • RAD-PD Study: Registry for the Advancement of Deep Brain Stimulation in Parkinson’s disease (funded by the Parkinson Study Group and MJFF).
  • Enhancing Patient Engagement in Parkinson’s Disease Mental Health Research (funded by the Parkinson’s Foundation).
  • Telehealth Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Depression in Parkinson’s Disease (funded by the Veteran Affairs Administration).
  • Improving Access to Depression Care in Parkinson’s Disease: A Telehealth Approach (funded by the Michael J. Fox Foundation).
  • Retinal Functioning in Parkinson’s Disease as a Marker of Disease Progression.
  • Treatment of Depression with Co-occurring Neuropsychiatric Symptoms in Parkinson’s Disease.
  • Fox Insight Study. A new, online observational study that measures the daily lived experiences of people with Parkinson’s disease (PWP) and the effectiveness and quality of their health care through self-reported data.

Trainees include:

Postdoctoral fellowship program participants:

  • Jie Zhang, MD, PhD
  • Run Yan, PhD
  • Hye-Jin Park, PhD
  • Ikrak Jung, PhD
  • Magda Grudniewska-Lawton, PhD
  • Mung-Sik Yoo, PhD
  • Santhosh Chandar Maddila, PhD
  • Xiaopei Zhang, PhD

Postdoctoral neurology and neurosurgery trainees participating in Parkinson disease research and training:

  • Yeva Fernandez MD
  • Erin Feinstein DO
  • Alva Yum MD
  • James Barrese, MD

The American Parkinson Disease Association (APDA) is the largest grassroots network dedicated to fighting Parkinson’s disease (PD) and works tirelessly to assist the more than 1 million Americans with PD live life to the fullest in the face of this chronic, neurological disorder. Founded in 1961, APDA has raised and invested more than $170 million to provide outstanding patient services and educational programs, elevate public awareness about the disease, and support research designed to unlock the mysteries of PD and ultimately put an end to this disease. To join us in the fight against Parkinson’s disease and to learn more about the support APDA provides nationally through our network of Chapters and Information & Referral (I&R) Centers, as well as our national Research Program and Centers for Advanced Research, please visit us at www.apdaparkinson.org

Parkinson's disease affects more than 1 million people in the United States annually, with at least 60,000 new cases diagnosed each year. The chronic and progressive neurological condition is the second most common neurodegenerative aging disorder, after Alzheimer's disease.

For more information contact:
Sheila Redding
Medical Director: M. Maral Mouradian, MD
Phone: 732-235-5012 
E-mail: sr1238@rwjms.rutgers.edu