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Soon thereafter, I realized I was developing symptoms of the very disease
I researched, and was forced to accept disability. This has led to yet
another career: 10 years spent transitioning from an academic voice to a
conversational one in order to tell this ironic story in my memoir, Both
Sides Now: A Journey from Researcher to Patient
It was hoped that our discovery of alpha-synuclein would quickly
move us beyond symptomatic treatment for Parkinson's disease to being
able to modify progression of the disease. It has
taken almost 20 years and millions of research dol-
lars, but our breakthrough in identifying alpha-
synuclein has come full circle. On July 31, 2014,
the Austrian drug development company AFFiRiS
conducted a webinar in which it announced results
from the first successful clinical trial of a vaccine
(PD01A) targeting alpha-synuclein (see http:// The trial, a
four-month, Phase I safety and tolerability study,
suggested some immunological and clinical effica-
cy for Parkinson's participants, and it has opened
the door to the planning of larger studies. Prothena, an American com-
pany, has also begun looking at targeting alpha-synuclein with a mon-
oclonal antibody, PRX002. (I want to note that neither I nor any of my
immediate family members have any financial connection or other con-
flicts of interest regarding this vaccine or monoclonal antibodies.)
The chance that either of these first-generation therapeutics will be
the ultimate cure for Parkinson's is, perhaps, remote. However, it
could not be more relevant for me personally. My story has been cov-
ered in several New Jersey newspapers, and Psychology Today has
invited me to blog about my views from both sides of the white coat
( If you
decide to read my story, I hope you will enjoy the humor, celebrate the
common bonds that sustained us at Robert Wood Johnson Medical
School, and rejoice in Roger Duvoisin's considerable legacy.
Because the American Parkinson Disease Association (ADPA)
funded some of my critical early research, I have pledged to donate
20 percent of the book's proceeds to the APDA.
----Alice Lazzarini, PhD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Neurology
Robert Wood Johnson
-- C o n t i n u e d f r o m P a g e 6 4
t was hoped
that our discovery
of alpha-synuclein
would move us
beyond symptomatic
treatment for
Parkinson's disease
to being able to
modify progression
of the disease.
2 0 1 0
Sebastian Lesniak
practices at
Matossian Eye Associates. He com-
pleted his fellowship in anterior
segment and corneal surgery at
Wills Eye Hospital.
2 0 1 1
Nathaniel Hsu
reports: "I
started as the OB anesthesia fellow/
instructor at the Hospital of the
University of Pennsylvania in July
Suraj Parekh
writes: "I am
switching specialties from general
surgery to radiology and eventually
interventional radiology. I began
new training program at Staten
Island University Hospital in July
Family physician
practices at Summit
Medical Group Family Medicine
in Bridgewater.
2 0 1 2
Thomas Cudjoe
began his
geriatrics fellowship at Johns
Hopkins University School of
Medicine in July 2015.
F o r m e r
R e s i d e n t s
Deborah Crabbe
is associate
professor of medicine at Temple
Heart and Vascular Institute at
Temple University School of
I n M e m o r i a m
Lawrence Sirott, MMS '68, MD