Skip to main content

Ken Griffin Alpha-synuclein Imaging Competition


The Michael J. Fox Foundation has prioritized alpha-synuclein imaging as the most likely imaging approach to have an impact for therapeutic development. The goal of this $10-million funding program is to deliver a selective alpha-synuclein PET tracer for use in clinical studies.

The competition culminated on March 28, 2023, with the announcement that Merck took the competition's top billing, earning an additional $1.5 million funding for developing their tracer. Read more here.

The Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF) issued this request for applications (RFA) for investigator-initiated studies to accelerate development of a selective alpha-synuclein PET tracer. Projects could include compound screening, tissue binding studies, lead identification and optimization, in vivo testing in appropriate models, and first-in-human testing of candidate tracers. Funding prioritization was given to those teams that show the greatest promise for delivering a selective tracer for human testing at the end of the funding period.

The total amount of funding available for this program is $10 million. A total of $8.5 million was available for the first two years of the program with the possibility of an additional $1.5 million for the project that shows the most promising results during the initial funding period. These budgets include direct and indirect costs.

In addition, these teams may be eligible for our Alpha-synuclein Imaging Prize. MJFF has pledged $2 million to the first team to show clinical evidence of a selective alpha-synuclein PET tracer and to agree to make the tool available to the research community.

This program is made possible in part through the generous support of Ken Griffin, Founder and CEO of the Chicago-based global investment firm Citadel. Read a press release on this funding program and its support.

Informational Webinar

Watch a webinar to learn more about our Foundation's funding strategy and this competition.

Watch Now

Contact with questions.

We use cookies to ensure that you get the best experience. By continuing to use this website, you indicate that you have read our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.