PDF Contributing Author:

Robin Elliott


Robin Elliott has led the Parkinson's Disease Foundation, Inc. (PDF) since October 1996. In the last 17 years, Mr. Elliott’s vision has ushered in a new age for PDF, fortifying PDF’s programs of research, education and advocacy for the Parkinson’s community. Under his leadership, the professional staff has grown from just four full-time employees to more than 20 and the PDF budget has more than tripled, rising from $2.7 million in 1996 to over $10 million in fiscal year 2013. To learn more about Mr. Elliott, see his full biography at www.pdf.org/bio_elliott.

Articles by this Author:

Remembering Arlen Specter

When I learned of the death of former Senator Arlen Specter two weeks ago, I thought immediately of two people in the Parkinson’s community who I knew would strike just the right chord to pull me out of a mood of regret for the loss of a true champion of medical research in America. I got it right. One was of these was Jim Cordy  – a veteran of the 1990’s “Washington Wars” to get Parkinson’s disease recognized – and funded — as a national priority.  He was a close colleague of Joan Samuelson (read on), the founder of the… read more Read More

Letter from the Executive Director: Fall 2012

Dear Friends: In the introductory notes that I write for each quarterly newsletter of the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, I try to identify common themes that thread through our various articles. And now we are posting these themes on the PDF blog, so you can let us know your thoughts. In the Fall 2012 issue of News & Review (found on the PDF website here) the theme is rather clear … and reflects a central commitment that PDF makes to the people we serve.   The theme is “improving the lives and futures of people touched by Parkinson’s.” Such a broad… read more Read More

Guest Blog: Stroke Story Has Implications for Parkinson’s Treatment

Therapy is most effective when it addresses an individual’s passionBy Ken Aidekman Paul West is a professor of English and comparative literature and a prodigious writer of both fiction and non-fiction books. His entire life revolves around words. But, in 2003 he suffered a massive stroke that left him with global aphasia, a condition that rendered him unable to understand words or produce them. His wife, Diane Ackerson, also an author and poet, tells the story of West’s bumpy road to recovery in her book “One Hundred Names for Love.” Upon his emergence from critical care, West was faced with… read more Read More

PAIRing up for Research: The Importance of Saying Thank You

Last week, we were excited to see a great example of pairing up (the slogan for our Parkinson’s Advocates in Research, or “PAIR” program) at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC). In an article entitled, “Events honor early patients of novel Parkinson’s study,” VUMC reports on their study of deep brain stimulation surgery as a treatment for early stage Parkinson’s. DBS is approved by the FDA as a treatment for mid stage Parkinson’s, but not for those with earlier stage PD. We were impressed to see how VUMC thanked their volunteers, all people with Parkinson’s, who made the study possible. As… read more Read More

Notes from a Day Spent Listening to Scientists Judging PDF Research Applications

Last Friday, March 16, was the occasion for reviewing applications for PDF’s International Research Grants program and Research Fellowships programs. Before us were some 30 proposals from some of the best young (and not-so-young) scientific investigators in the world. As I sat there in the meeting as an observer, listening to the members of our scientific review committee as they made their comments and pronounced their judgments, I found myself scribbling notes on what seemed to be the principles on which they were basing their decisions. What they were saying, it seemed to me, said a lot about how we… read more Read More

Bruce and Bob

“It’s incredible how far we have come in 12 years!” The venue for this quotation was the cavernous Paramount Theater in Asbury Park, New Jersey at 2 AM last Sunday morning, at the conclusion of a six-hour rock concert before a capacity crowd. The event was the latest production of Light of Day Foundation, the brainchild of Bob Benjamin, a former music publicist and producer. Light of Day’s purpose is to raise money for scientific research on Parkinson’s disease (PD) and other neurological disorders through fundraising concerts – initially on the Jersey Shore, and more recently through tours in Europe… read more Read More