NEW YORK, Nov. 15, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research (MJFF) has conferred the 2016 Robert A. Pritzker Prize for Leadership in Parkinson's Research to Ira Shoulson, MD, professor of neurology, pharmacology and human science and director of the Program for Regulatory Science and Medicine at Georgetown University Medical Center. The Prize recognizes researchers who make exceptional contributions to Parkinson's research and exhibit a commitment to mentoring the next generation of Parkinson's scientists. "Dr. Shoulson has played an integral role in establishing standards for multicenter clinical trials in movement disorders that advance new treatments and aim to improve quality of life for the millions living with Parkinson's disease," said MJFF CEO Todd Sherer, PhD. "In addition, his attention to regulatory science builds a foundation for patient-first evaluation and swift approval of new therapies." Michael J. Fox and MJFF senior vice president of research programs Brian Fiske, PhD, presented the Prize to Dr. Shoulson at a ceremony in New York City on November 12, 2016. A leader in the fields of Huntington's and Parkinson's disease research, he co-founded the Parkinson Study Group in 1985 and the Huntington Study Group in 1994, two international academic consortia devoted to research and development of treatments, including seven new approved treatments for Parkinson's disease. In addition to his extensive work overseeing major clinical trials, Dr. Shoulson has made key contributions to regulatory science and medicine and was formerly a Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Foundation health policy fellow in the U.S. Senate. He has trained several scientists who also have gone on to become prominent leaders in Parkinson's research. Learn more about his contributions in a video on our website. The Robert A. Pritzker Prize for Leadership in Parkinson's Research has been awarded annually by MJFF since 2011 and is made possible by Karen Pritzker, daughter of Robert A. Pritzker, and her husband, investor Michael Vlock. Their gift provides a $100,000 grant to the Pritzker Prize recipient each year, and Pritzker and Vlock have been generous donors to MJFF. Dr. Shoulson will direct his grant to advance research on Parkinson's patient-reported outcomes and patient preferences. With the aim of strengthening the patient voice in the Food and Drug Administration therapeutics approval process and utilizing MJFF's online observational study, Fox Insight, he will systematically assess the experience of patients and families with Parkinson's disease using natural language processing and other digital techniques.