Grand Challenges in Parkinson’s Disease is an annual scientific symposium that brings together scientists, clinicians, advocates and people with Parkinson’s to explore the latest innovative Parkinson’s disease research.

Now in its seventh year, Grand Challenges has grown into a multi-faceted symposium that draws attendees from across the globe. Previous themes have explored the role of genes and pathways, disease modifying therapies, the role of inflammation, clinical trials and drug development.

Programs from previous years
2017 Grand Challenges in Parkinson’s Disease

2016 Grand Challenges in Parkinson’s Disease
2015 Grand Challenges in Parkinson’s Disease

2018 Scientific Program Committee
Dr. Viviane Labrie, Van Andel Research Institute (chair)
Dr. Bradley Boeve, Mayo Clinic
Dr. Lena Brundin, Van Andel Research Institute
Dr. Patrik Brundin, Van Andel Research Institute
Dr. Gerry Coetzee, Van Andel Research Institute
Dr. Bill Langston, The Parkinson’s Institute
Dr. Ronald Posthuma, McGill University
Dr. Heinz Reichmann, University of Dresden Medical School
Dr. Malu Tansey, Emory University of Medicine
Dr. Sarkis Mazmanian, Caltech
Alan Zimmerman, (patient advocate), Knox Area Parkinson’s Club

Local planning committee
Kim CousineauEvent coordinator and executive assistant, Van Andel Research Institute
Emily GliddenAdministrative assistant II, Van Andel Research Institute
Kayla HabermehlScience writer/science communications specialist II, Van Andel Research Institute

For more information, please contact Kim Cousineau at Kim.Cousineau@vai.org or at 616.234.5684.

Refund requests must be made in writing to Grand Challenges in Parkinson’s Disease by Friday, September 21, 2018. After September 21, refund requests will not be honored. If you are not able to attend, a substitute may attend in your place. The name and email address of the substitute must be emailed to Kim Cousineau prior to September 21, 2018. If you do not attend the program and do not submit a written refund request, Grand Challenges in Parkinson’s Disease will retain all registration fees. Email all cancellation requests/substitutions/ registration questions to Kim Cousineau at kim.cousineau@vai.org. Refund requests will be addressed within five business days. In the event the Grand Challenges in Parkinson’s Disease is cancelled, full refunds will be given to all registrants.

In 2014, VARI and U.K.-based research charity The Cure Parkinson’s Trust held the first Rallying to the Challenge meeting in conjunction with Grand Challenges in Parkinson’s Disease. Rallying to the Challenge drew more than 100 influential advocates, people with Parkinson’s, and caregivers to the Institute to discuss how people with Parkinson’s can improve the clinical trial process. Over two days of talks, discussions and working groups, Rallying attendees laid the foundation for the beginnings of a patient charter and comprehensive toolkit to improve patient involvement in trials and to ensure their voices are heard.

Van Andel Institute (VAI)
is an independent biomedical research and science education organization committed to improving the health and enhancing the lives of current and future generations. Established by Jay and Betty Van Andel in 1996 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, VAI has grown into a premier research and educational institution that supports the work of more than 360 scientists, educators and staff. Van Andel Research Institute (VARI), VAI’s research division, is dedicated to determining the epigenetic, genetic, molecular and cellular origins of cancer, Parkinson’s and other diseases and translating those findings into effective therapies. The Institute’s scientists work in on-site laboratories and participate in collaborative partnerships that span the globe. Learn more about Van Andel Institute or donate by visiting www.vai.org. 100% To Research, Discovery & Hope®