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Brain neurons

World-renowned neuroscientist receives prestigious award

26 October 2021

Leading researcher and neuroscientist recognised for profound contribution to Parkinson's research.

Distinguished neuroscientist and research neuropathologist, Professor Glenda Halliday, has been recognised and awarded for her leading research and profound contribution to the treatment of Parkinson's disease.

Professor Glenda Halliday

Professor Glenda Halliday

The Robert A. Pritzker Prize for Leadership in Parkinson's Research, sponsored by the Michael J Fox foundation, recognises scientists who make an exceptional research contribution to improve treatments for Parkinson's patients.

This year's recipient, Professor Glenda Halliday from the Faculty of Medicine and Health and the Brain and Mind Centre, is recognised as one of the world’s leading experts on neurodegeneration, having dedicated her career to research critical to improving the lives of those with Parkinson’s, dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases.

Inspired by her own experience and those that have received the award previously, Professor Halliday is honoured and humbled to be among her heroes in receiving the international accolade.

"I am extremely honoured to be awarded the 2021 MJFF Robert A. Pritzker Prize for Leadership in Parkinson’s research, and grateful to Karen Pritzker and her late husband, Michael Vlock, for such a gift to honour Parkinson’s research. Like too many people, we have something in common – a parent with Parkinson’s."

To be recognised in this way by my peers and as part of such a legacy is the greatest honour.

Honouring Professor Glenda Halliday as the Winner of The Michael J. Fox Foundation's 2021 Major Research Prize.

Having started a PhD in 1986, where she set up a Parkinson's disease brain donor program and developed research methods that revealed more extensive neurodegeneration in Parkinson's and related syndromes than previously thought, Professor Halliday has gone on to shape the treatment of Parkinson's with direct impact on clinical practice and ongoing research.

"My recent work in this area has identified that monocytes in blood have the same changes as observed in the brain in Parkinson’s disease, and are an accessible cell for developing surrogate biomarkers. These studies are now translating into diagnostic protocols and new therapeutics."

Professor Halliday aligns her research goals with the goal of the prize - a world free from Parkinson's - and aims to understand the disease process, identify surrogate biomarkers for these processes, and change the lives of those living with Parkinson's by enabling disease modifying treatments rather than symptomatic treatments.

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