Carnegie Mellon Press Release: October 23, 2003
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Teresa Thomas

For immediate release:
October 23, 2003

Alumni Speak at Carnegie Mellon Homecoming About Their Search for Parkinson's Disease Cure

WHAT: Three Carnegie Mellon University alumni — two national advocates for Parkinson's Disease and a leading neuroscientist — talk about their collective and individual missions to help find a cure for the disease. Alumnus Dr. Perry D. Cohen (Industrial Management 1968) is a health care consultant and director of Parkinson Pipeline Project, Parkinson Disease Foundation. James Cordy (Engineering 1969) is president of the Parkinson Chapter of Greater Pittsburgh, National Parkinson Foundation. Dr. Michael Zigmond (Engineering 1963) is a professor of neurology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. All three will participate in a panel titled "Mission Impossible: Mixing Business, Politics and Religion with Science in the Search for Cures."

WHEN: 1:30-2:30 p.m. Saturday, October 25, in the Peter/Wright Room, University Center, Carnegie Mellon campus.

BACKGROUND: Cohen and Cordy brought the importance of patient advocacy to the forefront when they lobbied on Capitol Hill for the Udall Bill and helped organize a Steering Committee to coordinate Parkinson's Disease organizations. Since the bill passed, Cohen has worked to improve communication between patients and researchers, hoping to bridge the gap between science and those diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease.

He established the Parkinson Pipeline Project (an affiliate of the Parkinson Disease Foundation) to help facilitate research and help patients advocate for their own health. Cohen attributes the theme of the project to a quote from Cordy: "There is no limit to what we can accomplish if we empower people with Parkinson's Disease."

Cohen and Cordy will expand on these ideas and share their thoughts on how the religious zeal of patient advocacy has spurred science and industry to the brink of finding solutions to this chronic disease. Zigmond will discuss scientific advancements that may lead to improved treatments for Parkinson's Disease.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: On Saturday, please contact Holly Gordon in Alumni Relations, 412-268-8451 or


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