Current Parkinson’s San Diego Fund Programs:
Summit 4 Stem Cell
The Parkinson’s Association of San Diego’s Summit4StemCell (S4SC) Team supports non-embryonic stem cell research conducted by Jeanne Loring, Ph.D and Melissa Houser, M.D. S4SC inspired a partnership with the PASD, the Scripps Clinic in La Jolla, CA, the University of California San Diego, the Buck Institute, and the Scripps Research Institute in an effort to further the fight against Parkinson’s through this promising research.
This program is using patient-specific non-embryonic stem cells as a therapy for Parkinson’s disease. Skin biopsies are being collected from six Parkinson’s disease patients. The cells will then be transformed into stem cells, and then into dopamine-producing neurons. The goal is to translate these cell lines into a viable therapy option for PD patients.
The project is unique in that cells are obtained from skin fibroblasts (not embryonic tissue), and they are patient-specific thus minimizing problems with graft rejection. “The cells are simply a part of the patient, not foreign to the brain,” explains Dr. Houser. “The chances of success are optimized because we are using the patient’s own DNA to replace the damaged neurons.”
Funding for Phase I has been completed; Phase II involves FDA approval for transplantation and then the actual transfer of cells to the brain.
Other San Diego Research Programs are currently being evaluated for support from the San Diego Research Fund.
American Parkinson’s Disease Association (APDA)
As a part of our commitment to support research on a national scale, each year the Parkinson’s Association of San Diego commits funds to APDA’s research program through our National Research Fund.