the disabling, involuntary movements associated with prolonged L-dopa therapy. The second will enhance a separate area of research: Dr. Mouradian’s finding that microRNA-7 can be developed as a targeted therapy to protect the brain cells of people with Parkinson’s. “Patents are an important part of the translational research process,” says Dr. Mouradian. “Discoveries with national and international patent protection are more likely to attract investors. And when you have partners, you have a better chance to accelerate the pace of translating scientific knowledge for the good of public health.” “It was a long wait—seven years in one case and five in the other,” says Dr. Mouradian. “Still, it’s tremendously rewarding to know that the results of our research are closer to directly benefiting millions of people who ask the same question that our clinic patients always ask me: ‘When will you find a cure?’ For them and for us, this is the Holy Grail of Parkinson’s research.” 10 Robert Wood Johnson I MEDICINE T he first of Dr. Mouradian’s two patents, grants her the exclusive right to repurpose the analgesic drug nalbuphine as a treatment for L-dopa-induced dyskinesia, A Career in Parkinson’s Disease Research pleted her neurology training at the University of Cincinnati and went on to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), where she did postdoctoral training in clinical pharmacological research in Parkinson’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders. Dr. Mouradian completed additional training in molecular biology at the NIH under the tutelage of Nobel laureate Marshall Nirenberg, PhD. Prior to joining the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School faculty in 2003, she spent 18 years at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, much of that time as chief of its Genetic Pharmacology group. In her wide-ranging research, funded by multiple NIH grants since 1992, Dr. Mouradian has focused on finding a way to slow brain cell degeneration in Parkinson’s patients and alleviate the disabilities—physical, cognitive, and psychological—that accompany the disease. “Keeping the patient F rom her first months in medical school at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon, Dr. Mouradian has been intrigued by the mysteries of the human brain. She com-