The Milken Institute Center for Strategic Philanthropy and the Sergey Brin Family Foundation recently announced the launch of the Aligning Science Across Parkinson’s (ASAP) programme. Coordinated by Nobel prize winner Professor Randy Schekman (whose wife had Parkinson's) and utilising some of the considerable resources of Google founder Sergey Brin (whose family has been affected by the condition), the ASAP initiative will be seeking to build an international network of researchers to improve our understanding of the biology underlying Parkinson’s and speed up the development of new therapies.

ASAP will be investing significant research funds into three scientific themes exploring 1) the biology of Parkinson's associated genes, 2) neuro-immune interactions, and 3) circuitry and brain-body interactions. They will be doing this with several strategic objectives in mind, these being:

- To encourage and support collaborative efforts

- To generate resources for the research community

- To democratise data and make it open and freely available

There will be special emphasis on large scale sharing of data and publicly available research reports, as well as establishing research-enabling tools and platforms (such as longitudinal patient cohort studies and patient-derived cell lines).

Click here to read a view point about ASAP.

This is a very exciting development that will certainly boost efforts to better understand Parkinson's, which will have positive implications for The Cure Parkinson's Trust and our Linked Clinical Trials programme seeking novel disease modifying therapies for the condition.

Dr Simon Stott, Deputy Director of Research, The Cure Parkinson's Trust.

Read more about ASAP in Dr Stott's blog.