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Du Receives Michael J. Fox Foundation Award

Guangwei Du, MD, PhD, received an award from the Michael J. Fox Foundation to explore using different types of magnetic resonance imaging such as free-water diffusion and MR fingerprinting to capture Parkinson’s disease-related changes over time. Du will test brain scans measuring different cellular processes linked to Parkinson’s.

A head-and-shoulders professional photo of Guangwei Du, MD, PhD

Guangwei Du, MD, PhD

Du is an assistant professor of neurology at Penn State College of Medicine and director of the Brain Analysis Research Laboratory at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

If successful, this study will provide a set of imaging biomarkers that can track early Parkinson’s disease progression with high sensitivity. These then can be used in clinical trials to facilitate the development of new and/or neuroprotective agents. The results of this study may yield objective imaging biomarkers that can be used to better understand disease and as an outcome measure in trials testing drugs to slow or stop Parkinson’s progression.

Du has a strong interest in translational neuroscience and imaging neuroscience, and the major focus of his research is the use of novel imaging techniques to understand Parkinson’s disease and related neurodegenerative diseases. He received a PhD in imaging and nuclear medicine and has a broad background in radiology, neurology and medical image processing. After postdoc training with Xuemei Huang, MD, PhD, distinguished professor of neurology at the College of Medicine, Du’s research has been focused on the development of novel MRI imaging biomarkers for Parkinson’s disease early diagnosis and progression. He is strongly interested in the pathological underpinnings of MRI markers.

The Michael J. Fox Foundation is dedicated to finding a cure for Parkinson’s disease through an aggressively funded research agenda and to ensuring the development of improved therapies for those living with Parkinson’s today. The foundation funds the discovery of methods to diagnose Parkinson’s, measure its progression and assess the effectiveness of treatments for it.

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