it's time to re-emphasize basic research


The Innovation Roadmap

We need to build up foundational knowledge in Parkinson's disease. Recent advancements in cancer have taught us that basic understanding of disease biology can lead to major breakthroughs in diagnostics and treatment. There's still so much to uncover about how Parkinson's disease arises and progresses. Just as it has in cancer, a bottom-up, collaborative approach can give us the basic knowledge we need to move forward.

The cause of Parkinson's disease is unknown. There are no disease-modifying treatments.

Back to the lab

We will focus our efforts around basic research into underlying disease biology.





Questions we aim to answer:

The roadmap will identify scientific priorities and the assets needed to pursue them using both hypothesis–and data–driven methods.

  • Scientific Domains
    • What areas are the most important to pursue?
    • How does genetic risk contribute to disease?
    • What role does the immune system play in disease?
    • How do defects in cellular protein dynamics contribute to disease?
  • Research Questions
    • What do we know? What don't we know?
    • What's the critical path of questioning?
    • How can we obtain and use unbiased biological data to inform insights?
  • Research Milestones & Metrics
    • What outputs do we seek?
    • How do we measure progress?
    • How do milestones differ in basic research vs. translational/clinical?
  • Research Needs
    • What infrastructure and tools are needed?
    • How can we ensure access to well-preserved brain tissue?
    • How can we incentivize data standardization and harmonization?
  • Collaboration
    • Who should work together?
    • What are the best funding models to address open questions?
    • What is the best way to facilitate data-sharing?
    • What is the best way to integrate multidisciplinary expertise to tackle Parkinson's disease?

How did we get here?

Since 2015, The Milken Institute Center for Strategic Philanthropy (CSP) has been working with the Sergey Brin Family Foundation (SBFF) to assess its philanthropic work in Parkinson's disease. We have collaborated to perform an intensive landscape analysis of Parkinson's disease research and to assess unmet needs across all phases of the research continuum.

Phase 1: Landscaping & Assessment

  • Nov 2015

Milken Institute Parkinson's Disease State of the Science Meeting

Phase 2: Strategic Planning

  • July 2017

Inaugural ASAP Advisory Council Meeting

  • Nov 2017

ASAP announcement at Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting

  • March - October 2018

ASAP Workshops

Phase 3: Implementation

Stay tuned for updates.

Collaborative Philanthropy

Collaboration is crucial to successful innovation, for scientists and funders alike. We will engage key neuroscience funders from around the world, including philanthropists, foundations, governments and industry, to develop a financially sustainable global effort toward shared research goals. Together, we can tackle the biggest and most relevant questions in Parkinson's disease.

ASAP will:

Coordinate a global effort to promote collaboration on an unprecedented scale

Align interests across the basic and translational research communities

Break down silos across neurodegeneration research, facilitate data-sharing and inform policy

Inform and galvanize philanthropic investment in basic science for Parkinson's disease

Working with the Roadmap

  • SBFF: Inform philanthropic investment
  • Funders: Galvanize coordination of basic science support globally
  • Research community: Incentivize and guide scientific pursuits and collaborations.
  • Other Key Stakeholders: Facilitate data sharing, inform policy, etc.

Philanthropy is a powerful force...but it cannot succeed alone.