Indian Origin PhD candidate bags Visiting Researcher Award from Parkinson’s Foundation



An Indian Origin doctoral candidate in biomedical engineering received the Visiting Researcher Award from the Parkinson’s Foundation. The award offers graduate students and postdoctoral fellows the opportunity to enhance their existing skill sets to advance their Parkinson’s research endeavors.

Prajakta Joshi, a PhD candidate in biomedical engineering at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, bagged the Visiting Researcher Award from the Parkinson’s Foundation. The award includes a stipend of $4,000, which supports scholars during their travel and accommodation as they visit a host laboratory to acquire novel techniques that will bolster their Parkinson’s research initiatives.

Joshi completed her postgraduate studies in biological science and electrical and electronics engineering at the Birla Institute of Technology and Science in Pilani, India. She joined Case Western Reserve University in 2021 and now she works as a graduate assistant at the university in Ohio.

“This grant is meant to facilitate Joshi’s research and facilitate her journey to work with Sanjay Pandey at Amrita Hospital, Faridabad. Working with Pandey, Joshi aims to gain expertise in conducting intraoperative microelectrode recordings of the subthalamic nucleus in response to external stimuli-like vibration. Neural recordings hold immense potential for identifying aberrant brain processes that underlie intricate disease states.

This research inquiry holds the promise of uncovering the subthalamic nucleus’s reaction to proprioceptive changes, thereby yielding invaluable insights into the role of compromised sensorimotor integration in Parkinson’s disease.

The Parkinson’s Foundation announced an investment of $2.8 million in 30 grants to accelerate cutting-edge Parkinson’s disease (PD) research in July 2023. Through research grants, the Foundation funds scientists conducting innovative studies across various aspects of PD to bring forward new therapies, treatments, and ultimately a cure for the 10 million people worldwide living with this debilitating neurological disease.

“Taking on a disease as complex as Parkinson’s requires the best scientific minds in the world. We are focused on supporting innovative scientific approaches to research, and individual scientists are the drivers of those advances,” said Chief Scientific Officer James Beck, PhD, of the Parkinson’s Foundation.