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Michael J. Fox Honored with Elevate Prize Catalyst Award for His Dedication and Leadership to Parkinson’s Research and Advocacy

NEW YORK (September 20, 2023) — The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF) congratulates founder Michael J. Fox as the recipient of the 2023 Elevate Prize Catalyst Award conferred by the Elevate Prize Foundation. The award recognizes prominent individuals who use their influence to inspire social action. Recognized for his tireless advocacy and boundless optimism to change the future for millions of people and families in the Parkinson’s disease (PD) community, Michael was presented the award onstage at the 2023 Clinton Global Initiative Meeting on Tuesday, September 19 by the Elevate Prize Foundation’s Founder Joseph Deitch and its CEO Carolina García Jayaram.  

“It means the world to have the Foundation’s achievements recognized,” said Michael J. Fox. “I accept the Catalyst Award on behalf of the community pushing our mission forward: the people and families living with PD, and the researchers and clinicians on the front lines of the search for a cure. Seeing the progress we’ve made together and the lives we’ve touched through the Foundation has been one of the greatest privileges of my life.” 

With the Elevate Prize Catalyst Award, MJFF will receive $250,000 in unrestricted funding. The Foundation is committed to applying the funds to further its work in developing the first biological staging system for PD — the next critical step in making Parkinson’s drug development smarter, better and faster.  

“Michael J. Fox represents the best of us. Faced with an overwhelming personal challenge, he made the monumental decision to be a catalyst for change,” said Joseph Deitch, entrepreneur and founder of the Elevate Prize Foundation. “By using his platform to bring hope and visibility to those affected by Parkinson’s, he has not only changed the lives of patients in our lifetime, but will impact those of generations to come.” 

Carolina García Jayaram, CEO of the Elevate Prize Foundation, said: “We are honored to present the Elevate Prize Catalyst Award to Michael J. Fox for his unwavering commitment toward finding a cure for Parkinson’s. Through his storytelling – in both the highs and the lows – he shows us the unrelenting power of optimism, a message we plan to help amplify together in the months ahead.”  

Immediately following the award conferral, Michael J. Fox and MJFF’s Co-Founder and CEO Deborah W. Brooks joined former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton onstage to discuss the Foundation’s work on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of individuals — patients, families, researchers and partners — who have enabled the Foundation’s mission toward better treatments and a cure. 

Michael J. Fox’s achievement as the Elevate Prize Catalyst Award winner comes as the Foundation recognizes astonishing research progress and an innovative model that has funded more than $1.75 billion dollars to support high-impact global research programs.  

Since its launch in 2000, MJFF has engaged a worldwide Parkinson’s community in the unique role we each play in accelerating Parkinson’s research and policy priorities that will improve the lives of an estimated 6 million people and families living with the disease today, and those who may be impacted tomorrow. In April 2023, MJFF announced its most significant research breakthrough to date, a Parkinson’s biomarker: a biological test for Parkinson’s disease that demonstrates high diagnostic accuracy, differentiates molecular subtypes and detects disease in individuals before cardinal movement symptoms arise. The new test, known as the alpha-synuclein seed amplification assay (αSyn-SAA), heralds the revolutionary ability for research to define Parkinson’s disease biologically, offering a critical tool for clinical trial design and assessment of treatment effects, and for early detection of disease pathology. 

To learn more about the Elevate Prize Catalyst Award, visit  

About The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF) 

As the world's largest nonprofit funder of Parkinson's research, The Michael J. Fox Foundation is dedicated to accelerating a cure for Parkinson's disease and improved therapies for those living with the condition today. The Foundation pursues its goals through an aggressively funded, highly targeted research program coupled with active global engagement of scientists, Parkinson's patients, business leaders, clinical trial participants, donors and volunteers. In addition to funding $1.75 billion in research to date, the Foundation has fundamentally altered the trajectory of progress toward a cure. Operating at the hub of worldwide Parkinson's research, the Foundation forges groundbreaking collaborations with industry leaders, academic scientists and government research funders; creates a robust open- access data set and biosample library to speed scientific breakthroughs and treatment with its landmark clinical study, PPMI; increases the flow of participants into Parkinson's disease clinical trials with its online tool, Fox Trial Finder; promotes Parkinson's awareness through high-profile advocacy, events and outreach; and coordinates the grassroots involvement of thousands of Team Fox members around the world. For more information, visit us at, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn. 

Media Contact:  
Kristina Magana  
The Michael J. Fox Foundation  

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