The financial support for the PD Center of Excellence provided by The Perry and Ruby Stevens Charitable Foundation (Kerrville, Texas) is leveraged by three organizational units of UT Health San Antonio – the Institute for Integration of Medicine and Science, the Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies, and the Office of the Vice President for Research.
The programmatic components of the PD Center of Excellence are three fold:
- Competitive pilot research program that aims to accelerate PD-focused research by funding innovative projects directed at slowing, stopping, or reversing the progression of PD and developing improved therapies for those living with PD. A key objective is to enable downstream competitive grant funding for PD research from both government agencies and private sources.
- Mentored career development program that will build the pipeline of PD researchers across the continuum from basic to translational to clinical science. Young investigators will be mentored by experienced scientists and clinicians so as to optimize their career success as independent researchers focusing on PD.
- Outreach, educational, and community engagement activities, including a monthly seminar series, an annual research symposium, and community activities that bring together a wide range of PD stakeholders across our region and the nation.
The long-term goal of the Center is to build the PD research quality and capacity of UT Health San Antonio to the level required to compete successfully for a National Institutes of Health Morris K. Udall Parkinson’s Disease Center of Excellence.