Fox, a Canadian-born American actor, will receive the award at a ceremony in New York on March 5th “in recognition of his work raising funds and awareness for Parkinson’s disease as the founder of the Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF),” the institute said in a statement.
The foundation has awarded over $175 million to Parkinson’s drug development research around the world, including Karolinska Institutet, according to the statement.
“In its short history, the Michael J Fox Foundation has gained the admiration and respect of the worldwide research community for its rigorous scientific standards and its commitment to quickly and aggressively fund high-impact therapeutic development,” said the institute’s dean, Clara H. Gumpert.
Michael J. Fox was born in Canada in 1961 and as an actor is perhaps best known for his work in the 1980s teen movie classics Back to the Future and Teenwolf, as well as the long running TV sitcom, Spin City.
He is the author of two best-selling memoirs with a third book to be published in April 2010. Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1991 and shared this information with the general public in 1998.
In 2000 he founded MJFF, today the world’s largest private funder of Parkinson’s research.
“I’m grateful to the Board of Research for this tremendous honour,” said Michael J. Fox on hearing of the award.
“It’s especially meaningful because our Foundation and Karolinska Institutet share a belief in the power of scientific endeavour to create a future that is better for everyone,” he said.