The NINDS hosted the 14th Annual Meeting of the Morris K. Udall Centers of Excellence for Parkinson’s Disease Research for Udall Center Directors, investigators and invited guests from Monday, October 1, 2012 to Wednesday, October 3, 2012 at the Washington Plaza Hotel in Washington, DC.
The Udall Centers program was established by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) in 1997 immediately following the passage of the Morris K. Udall Parkinson’s Disease Research Act (P.L. 105-78) into law. The NINDS currently funds 10 Udall Centers across the country. These Centers represent a key component of the NINDS research portfolio in Parkinson’s disease and related neurodegenerative disorders. The goal of this program is to fund multidisciplinary Centers of Excellence that can rapidly advance innovative research to improve understanding and treatment of Parkinson’s disease (PD) and related disorders. Udall Centers perform state‐of‐the art basic, translational, and clinical research on PD, including examination of underlying neurobiological and neuropathological mechanisms, identification and characterization of candidate and disease‐associated genes, establishment of improved PD models, target identification and early testing of potential therapeutic strategies, and the initiation of novel avenues of clinical research.
Hosted by the NINDS, and developed by the Udall Center Coordinating Committee (UC3), the meeting agenda was designed to provide an optimal framework in which participants could interact and discuss emergent issues in the research and treatment of PD and related disorders. A special satellite meeting of the Udall Clinical Cores was held on October 1. Investigators from each of the Cores provided a brief overview of the goals and resources available at their respective Centers. In addition, the Directors focused discussion in three collaborative areas: genetics studies, studies on cognitive decline and Parkinson’s disease with dementia (PDD), and harmonization of clinical measures and standardization of data collection in Udall Center clinical cohorts.
The Udall Center Directors’ meeting was held on October 2‐3. On October 2, three scientific sessions highlighted topics selected by the Udall Center Directors, including:
These discussions were followed by a poster session highlighting projects of Udall Center trainees and junior faculty. On October 3, Center Directors and investigators provided highlights of recent significant advances at their Centers. Within this interactive forum, the annual meeting fostered scientific discussion and identified collaborative opportunities among the Centers.
Beth-Anne Sieber, Ph.D.
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Phone: (301) 496-5680