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May 4, 2012

Parkinson’s scientist receives top award for brain repair work

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — For his long career studying the neurobiology of aging, including the impact on Parkinson's disease, MSU scientist Timothy J. Collier has received the 2011 Bernard Sanberg Memorial Award for Brain Repair from the American Society of Neural Therapy and Repair.

Collier, a professor of translational science and molecular medicine at the College of Human Medicine, received the honor at the society's 19th Annual Conference held April 26-28 in Clearwater Beach, Fla. He also serves as director of the Udall Center of Excellence in Parkinson's Disease Research at MSU and the University of Cincinnati.

The award was presented in recognition of his work on the role of dopamine in neuron biology as applied to aging, Parkinson's disease and experimental therapeutics.

"Professor Collier has been a leader in the field of cellular repair for Parkinson's disease for more than 25 years and consistently has brought new ideas forward on how to stimulate growth and survival of neurons that are crucial for maintenance of proper brain function," said John Sladek, professor of neurology, pediatrics and neuroscience at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

"As director of the highly coveted Morris Udall Center of Excellence for Parkinson's Disease Research, he is in an ideal position to make breakthroughs that will accelerate the transfer of new research into the clinics. As his postdoctoral mentor, I couldn't be prouder of his accomplishments and look forward to his next important discovery."

The award is named for Bernard Sanberg, father of Paul Sanberg, a co-founder of the American Society of Neural Therapy and Repair. After Bernard Sanberg died of a stroke in 1999, the award bearing his name was established and is presented by the society annually to an individual who has made outstanding research contributions in the field of neural therapy and repair.

The society is made up of basic and clinical neuroscientists using a variety of technologies to better understand how the nervous system functions and establish new procedures for its repair in response to trauma or neurodegenerative disease. For more information, visit


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