Gladstone Institutes Receives $1.5 Million Grant for Brain Research

W.M. Keck Foundation funds study of striatal physiology and pathophysiology

SAN FRANCISCO, CA—March 4, 2009—The J. David Gladstone Institutes announced that it has received a major grant from the W.M. Keck Foundation in Los Angeles to establish the Keck Program for Striatal Physiology and Pathophysiology, which will study the origins of movement disorders associated with neurological diseases such as Parkinson's and Huntington's diseases.

Gladstone researchers, led by Lennart Mucke, MD, director of the Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease, will use recently developed technologies and apply their unique expertise in this area to understand neural activity in the striatum, which is located deep inside the brain.

“The striatum is the major site within the brain that controls movement,” explained Dr. Anatol Kreitzer, a lead investigator in the new program. “While of great importance, it has been very difficult to study. New technologies and a multidisciplinary approach will enable us to discover how neural activity controls motor behavior and then develop a framework for designing treatments for striatal-based disorders, such as Parkinson's disease and Huntington's disease.”

“The W. M. Keck Foundation is pleased to make this award in recognition of the Gladstone Institutes' outstanding work in the field of biomedical research. This study is vital to our understanding of the fundamental neurological principles that govern movement, and, we hope, this knowledge may lead to new treatments for devastating neurodegenerative diseases,” said Maria Pellegrini, executive director of programs at the W. M. Keck Foundation.

The Keck Foundation has provided $1.5 million toward Gladstone's multimillion dollar striatal physiology program, which involves four primary investigators and a large research team.

“Gladstone is uniquely qualified to take on this major research, which will fill a critical gap in the understanding of brain function and neurological disease,” said Gladstone president Robert W. Mahley, MD, PhD. “We're extremely pleased that our work in this area has been rewarded with this significant grant from one of the nation's most prestigious private foundations.”

About the Gladstone Institutes
The J. David Gladstone Institutes, an independent, non-profit biomedical research organization affiliated with the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), is dedicated to the health and welfare of humankind through research into the causes and prevention of some of the world's most devastating diseases. Gladstone is comprised of the Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease, the Gladstone Institute of Virology and Immunology and the Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease. More information can be found at www.gladstone.ucsf.edu.

About the W.M. Keck Foundation
Based in Los Angeles, the W.M. Keck Foundation was established in 1954 by the late W.M. Keck, founder of the Superior Oil Company. The Foundation's grant making is focused primarily on pioneering efforts in the areas of medical research, science, and engineering. The Foundation also maintains a Southern California Grant Program that provides support in the areas of civic and community services with a special emphasis on children. For more information, visit www.wmkeck.org.

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