The Morris K. Udall Centers of Excellence for Parkinson's Disease Research

In 1997, Parkinson’s Action Network (PAN) advocates successfully worked to enact legislation that created the Morris K. Udall Centers of Excellence for Parkinson's Disease Research (Udall Centers).  On November 13, 1997, President Clinton signed the Morris K. Udall Parkinson’s Disease Research Act of 1997 into law (P.L. 105-78), which created the Udall Centers among other initiatives. 

The Udall Centers are named in honor of former Congressman Morris K. Udall (D-UT).  Rep. Udall was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1961 and served for 30 years.  Representative Udall was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1979 and died from complications of the disease on December 12, 1998. 

Today, 10 Udall Centers across the country are funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).  The centers utilize a multidisciplinary research approach to learn about the fundamental causes of PD as well as to improve the diagnosis and treatment of Parkinson’s and related neurodegenerative disorders.  These Centers carry out important research on Parkinson’s, including the identification and characterization of candidate and disease-associated genes, examination of neurobiological mechanisms, establishment of improved disease models, development and testing of potential therapeutics, and novel avenues of clinical research.

Columbia University;
Emory University;
Feinstein Institute for Medical Research;
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine;
Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville;
Michigan State University;
Northwestern University;
University of Miami;
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine;
University of Washington. 

Udall Center Evaluation
In 2007, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) completed a formal evaluation of the Morris K. Udall Centers of Excellence for Parkinson's Disease Research Program (Udall Centers Program).  The Udall Center Program Evaluation Working Group of the National Advisory Neurological Disorders and Stroke NANDS Council provided several recommendations on how to enhance the strong Parkinson’s disease research portfolio.  More.