Southern Research gets grant to continue studying Parkinson’s

southern research

A neuroscience laboratory at Birmingham-based Southern Research has received two federal grants of almost $3.9 million to advance the research of Parkinson’s Disease and other neurological diseases.

The grants came from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Both will support a lab led by Rita Cowell, fellow and chair of the Department of Neuroscience in Southern Research’s Drug Discovery Division.

Cowell has done 15 years of research on why brain cells die and lead to neurological diseases.

“If we can understand why these cells die, then we may be able to find drugs to interfere with that and stop the progression of these diseases,” she said.

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The grants are a testament to the quality of Southern Research’s neuroscience team, said Josh Carpenter, president and CEO of Southern Research.

“They work every day to fight diseases that have devastated the lives of so many families,” he said. “They are an asset to Southern Research and to our community.”

The company is leading the research on both grants, with the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Virginia Tech and the University of Michigan as co-investigators.

The company was founded in Birmingham in 1941. Scientists and engineers at the nonprofit research organization work across three divisions: life sciences, engineering and energy & environment.

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