Cure Parkinson’s and Van Andel Institute (VAI) are delighted to announce Professor Caroline Tanner, University of California San Francisco’s Weill Institute for Neurosciences, as the winner of the 2020 Tom Isaacs Award. The award was presented at the annual Rallying to the Challenge patient meeting.

Throughout her inspiring career, Professor Tanner has focused her research towards understanding the causes of Parkinson’s disease and to developing better treatments for those living with the condition. She has conducted pivotal work on environmental and genetic risk factors for Parkinson’s and other neurological conditions, while remaining active in patient care, teaching and being published extensively.

Professor Tanner is a shining example of the very ethos of the Tom Isaacs Award, which is to recognise a researcher who has shown great impact on the lives of people living with Parkinson’s and has involved people with Parkinson’s in a participatory way in their work.

 “Professor Tanner exemplifies what it means to conduct research into a cure for Parkinson’s alongside patients every step of the way, working directly with them to help shape and guide the research.”

Sue Buff, founder of PDTrialTracker

One such example of Professor Tanner’s commitment to involving people with Parkinson’s is her work with patients, advocates and policy makers to get the California Parkinson’s Disease registry implemented, which will continue to inform important further research into the causes of Parkinson’s. Professor Tanner is also the Prinicipal Investigator of Fox Insight, an online clinical study facilitated by the Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF) that aims to build a large cohort of people with Parkinson’s to provide the research community with critical insight into the lived experience, genetics and variability of Parkinson’s.

“Carlie Tanner believes that the experiences of people with Parkinson’s, living with the condition day in day out, make them an expert that deserves a seat at the table alongside clinicians and scientists. I think we are going to get to better treatments because Carlie gives a voice to people living with Parkinson’s.”

Katie Kopil, Vice President of Research Partnerships at MJFF

Professor Tanner is also involved with numerous boards and committees; among many other roles she serves on the Scientific Advisory Boards of The Michael J. Fox Foundation, chairs the Epidemiology Task Force of the Movement Disorders Society and has been a valued member of CPT’s own International Linked Clinical Trials Committee since the programme was founded in 2012.

 “Professor Tanner is a truly deserving recipient of the Tom Isaacs Award. Carlie is so well known not just for her incredible research and advisory work, but also for her outstanding kindness and care for people with Parkinson’s. Congratulations Carlie and to echo so many others, thank you for all you do.”

Helen Matthews, Deputy CEO of CPT

The Tom Isaacs Award is presented annually.