Morris K. Udall Center of Excellence for Parkinson’s Disease Research at Michigan State University (2009-2015)
Aging and Parkinson’s Disease: Models of Therapeutics and Neurologic Comorbidity.
Director: Timothy J. Collier, Ph.D.
“The Udall Center at Michigan State University seeks to develop new tools, targets and interventions, improve existing therapeutics, and act as a nexus of scientific progress, information and advocacy for scientists, patients and the public through research, research training, and community engagement.”
The Udall Center at Michigan State University was funded by the National Institutes of Health from 2009-2015. In keeping with the theme of the Center, the research project goals were aimed at reducing comorbidities, improving existing treatments and discovering new targets for therapeutics:
- Project 1: Profiles of Striatal Maladaptive Plasticity: Understand the progressive changes within the striatum that underlie the genesis of the comorbid condition of levodopa-induced dyskinesias (LIDs). A secondary goal was to use these studies to identify novel targets that could be manipulated to minimize or prevent LIDs.
- Project 2: Mechanisms of subthalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation (STN-DBS) on symptomatic efficacy and modification of ongoing degeneration: Mechanisms of subthalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation (STN-DBS) on symptomatic efficacy and modification of ongoing degeneration: Examine the influence of subthalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation (STN-DBS) on dopamine system neurodegeneration and whether such changes influence disease progression with the goal of better understanding the disease modifying potential and mechanisms behind its use.
- Project 3: Mechanisms of neural progenitor (NP) cell-derived induction of DA neuron survival: Examine the pro-survival properties of neural progenitor cells (NPs) as a tool to find novel targets for therapeutic intervention.
- Cross-Project Goal 1: Examine aging as a co-factor: All projects conducted their studies using both young and aged subjects to compare, contrast and better predict the efficacy of their manipulations in the aged brain as aging is a primary risk factor for Parkinson’s disease (PD), but rarely is incorporated in assessing pre-clinical therapeutic efficacy.
- Cross-Project Goal 2: Find new targets for PD therapeutics: In Year 5, we proposed to bring all PIs together to examine, in parallel, the gene expression changes in the nigrostriatal system instigated by degeneration, combined with experimental treatments from each of the three projects above, to find new targets to exploit for therapeutic translation.
A critical aspect of all of the proposed projects is to incorporate the factor of advancing chronological age, the best validated risk factor for PD, on the expression of mechanisms and outcomes derived from therapeutic interventions. Our goal is that through continued study of these issues our work can provide for development of optimal therapeutics for PD, inform their use in the clinical setting, and ultimately improve the quality of life for those living with PD.
The Udall Center is built around four principal investigators with a 15 year history of collaboration and commitment to a team-based approach to scientific discovery and implementation: Timothy Collier, Ph.D., Jack Lipton, Ph.D., Caryl Sortwell, Ph.D., and Kathy Steece-Collier, Ph.D. The home academic department for the Center is the Department of Translational Science & Molecular Medicine within the MSU College of Human Medicine. The MSU Udall Center serves as a source of scientific research with the goal of translating discoveries to improved clinical treatment of PD, services shared with the research community including analytical biochemistry, surgical techniques, and viral vector production, professional mentors for trainees aspiring to careers in research, teaching, science policy and advocacy, and community outreach and educational activities to provide information and inspiration to those living with PD.
For more information on the Udall Centers program please visit: www.ninds.nih.gov/research/parkinsonsweb/udall_centers/index.htm
Udall Projects & Services
Director: Kathy Steece-Collier, Ph.D.
Director: Caryl E. Sortwell, Ph.D.
Director: Jack W. Lipton, Ph.D.
Director: Timothy J. Collier, Ph.D
Director: Fredric P. Manfredsson, Ph.D.
Director: Timothy J. Collier, Ph.D
Last update: June 2015