Today is a big day for many at PDF — it is our annual grant review. Of course, those most affected by what goes on in the big conference room will not be there. There are two groups who depend on tomorrow's outcome: the scientists who have given us their best ideas for our scientific advisors to judge and the people who live every day with Parkinson's and are counting on these great ideas to make a difference in their disease and their lives. I am confident that the team of scientists helping — members of our scientific advisory board and other experts from around the country — will select only the best science today.
All in all, nearly 25 reviewers have pitched in their time to help whittle down the 200 letters of intent to 63 full grant proposals to, now, only the top 20 or so grants. Because of time, it is these top 20 applications that will actually get discussed.
And for the second time, PDF is doing what no other PD organization in America is doing—making certain those people living with PD have a literal seat at the table and participate in the decision making process. These people, PDF's Research Advocates, part of the Parkinson's Advocates in Research program, insure what we will fund is not just the best for science's sake but for the sake of people too. Something in which we, as an organization, take great pride and you as a community should too.
Tomorrow would be difficult to organize without the obvious help of my colleagues at PDF. But equally important is the help from everyone who will not be joining me in the room — you, the Parkinson’s Community. Your generous support of allows us to do what we do every day: support research and ideas that will improve the lives and futures of people touched by Parkinson’s. Our research program would simply not be without you. Thank you.