NEW YORK, Feb. 20, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF) is today announcing the launch of four new funding programs focused on driving forward research toward transformative treatments and a cure for Parkinson's disease (PD). MJFF places a strong emphasis on translational and clinical research, but also supports high-risk/high-reward discovery work to help keep new ideas flowing into the drug development pipeline. The new funding opportunities are open to both academic and industry researchers. Projects should promote PD drug development around the most promising therapeutic pathways and targets, including leading genetic targets alpha-synuclein and LRRK2. Researchers can also apply for access to MJFF's growing inventory of tissue samples from pre-clinical models and clinical populations for projects seeking to address promising Parkinson's ideas. In addition to the four launching programs, four other rolling programs are currently open and accepting applications. Check out the complete list and apply for funding at https://www.michaeljfox.org/research/apply-for-grant.html. Brief descriptions of the launching programs follow. MJFF Biosample and Tissue Resource RFA - Fall 2013MJFF has supported several pre-clinical and clinical efforts to generate valuable biospecimen tissue resources for the research community. This is an opportunity for researchers to apply to use these samples. Informational Conference Call: March 6, 2013 at 12pm US ESTPre-Proposals Due: April 3, 2013To participate in the call and receive call-in details, please RSVP via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.LRRK2 Pharmacodynamic Assays 2013MJFF seeks to support projects to identify, generate and validate measures and assays of the function of the protein leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) that accelerate development and testing of LRRK2-targeted therapies for PD. Successful applicants will be granted membership in the MJFF LRRK2 Consortium, where they can share information, data and resources with awardees of this and other LRRK2-related efforts. Informational Conference Call: March 5, 2013 at 12pm US ESTPre-Proposals Due: April 3, 2013To participate in the call and receive call-in details, please RSVP via email to email@example.com.Therapeutic Pipeline Program - Fall 2013The goal of the Therapeutic Pipeline Program is to support therapeutic development around targets within pathways that have been implicated in altering the course of PD. Proposals may seek support of key steps along the entire therapeutic pipeline, including therapeutic screening, identification and optimization, pre-clinical in vivo testing and clinical testing. Applicants are asked to develop a clear plan, including major 'go/no go' decision milestones, for moving a therapeutic strategy toward clinical utility in people with PD. Investigators new to PD research are encouraged to collaborate with experienced PD scientists and/or companies to ensure the greatest chance for success.