Michael J. Fox Foundation Honors Ira Shoulson with Top Honors

Posted in GUMC Stories

November 15, 2016 – Recognizing “exceptional contributions” to Parkinson’s disease research, The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF) has conferred the 2016 Robert A. Pritzker Prize for Leadership in Parkinson’s Research to Georgetown’s Ira Shoulson, MD.

Michael J. Fox and MJFF CEO Todd Sherer, PhD, presented the award to Shoulson at a ceremony in New York City on November 12.


In addition to recognizing scientific contributions, the Prize is awarded to those who exhibit a commitment to mentoring the next generation of Parkinson’s scientists.

“Dr. Shoulson has played an integral role in establishing standards for multicenter clinical trials in movement disorders that advance new treatments and aim to improve quality of life for the millions living with Parkinson’s disease,” said Dr. Sherer in a press release. “In addition, his attention to regulatory science builds a foundation for patient-first evaluation and swift approval of new therapies.”

Shoulson is a professor of neurology, pharmacology and human science and director of the Program for Regulatory Science and Medicine at Georgetown University Medical Center.


The MJFF praised Shoulson’s selection for the award in its announcement.

“He is considered a leader in the fields of Huntington’s and Parkinson’s disease research.  Shoulson co-founded the Parkinson Study Group in 1985 and the Huntington Study Group in 1994, two international academic consortia devoted to research and development of treatments, including seven new approved treatments for Parkinson’s disease. In addition to Shoulson’s extensive work overseeing major clinical trials, he has made key contributions to regulatory science and medicine … He has trained several scientists who also have gone on to become prominent leaders in Parkinson’s research.”


The Robert A. Pritzker Prize for Leadership in Parkinson’s Research includes a $100,000 grant to Shoulson who plans to direct the funding to advance research on Parkinson’s patient-reported outcomes and patient preferences.  In addition, Shoulson says he aims to strengthen the patient voice in the Food and Drug Administration therapeutics approval process.

“I am honored to receive the Robert A. Pritzker Prize and glad it will serve this important work to integrate patient feedback into therapeutic trials and approval processes,” said Shoulson. “As researchers, we strive to bring clinical meaningfulness to the development of new treatments that make a difference for our patients and enable them to live healthier and more robust lives.”