College of


Saint Mary's Health Care expands College of Human Medicine's Parkinson's research team

March 8, 2010

Saint Mary’s Health Care has made a “significant investment” to fund positions for four new scientists who will work with the Parkinson’s disease research team that is relocating to Grand Rapids in a joint recruitment between the hospital and MSU College of Human Medicine.

“Research on Parkinson’s disease is becoming a significant growth industry here in Grand Rapids,” said David Baumgartner, MD, Vice President of Medical Affairs at Saint Mary’s. “This investment represents an important addition and enhancement” to the Parkinson's disease research team recently recruited to Grand Rapids who are recipients of a  $6.2 million Michigan State University and University of Cincinnati Morris K. Udall Center of Excellence for Parkinson's disease grant.

"The Udall Center of Excellence is national recognition brought to MSU by our new investigators in Parkinson's disease,” said Marsha D. Rappley, M.D., dean, Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. “A Morris K. Udall Center of Excellence is the most coveted award among national centers that conduct Parkinson's disease research. This speaks to the caliber of researchers we are able to recruit to Grand Rapids because of our unique health science partnerships."

Recruitment for the four new scientists is underway. By the time the entire Parkinson's research team and their families are all relocated to Grand Rapids this summer, and the new scientists are hired, MSU will have a team of nine investigators and nine additional research staff at the Udall Center. All MSU scientists will conduct their Parkinson's disease research in the new Van Andel Institute Phase II expansion.

Today’s announcement is part of a West Michigan Parkinson’s disease research collaboration that includes Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, Saint Mary’s Health Care, Spectrum Health and the Van Andel Institute.