Researchers receive funding to help Parkinson’s patients, protect environment

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BINGHAMTON, N.Y. — New grants from the State University of New York could help researchers at Binghamton University create a new therapy to provide relief to Parkinson’s patients and help locate abandoned oil and gas wells.

Binghamton University researchers Christopher Bishop and Timothy de Smet have each received grants from the SUNY Technology Accelerator Fund, which helps faculty inventors and scientists turn their research into market-ready technologies.

“The technologies that our researchers are developing have the potential to assist people in pain and to protect our environment,” said Binghamton University President Harvey Stenger. “I’m proud of the accomplishments that our faculty have made so far and am pleased that this funding will help support such important, potentially life-changing initiatives.”

Bishop and Barrow Neurological Institute Associate Professor Fredric Manfredsson are developing a new therapy to provide relief to people with Parkinson’s disease who experience a harmful side effect that occurs as a result of chronic drug therapy. Their innovative approach repurposes an FDA-approved drug previously developed for depression to prevent the emergence of L-DOPA-induced dyskinesia.

“I am grateful to SUNY for this award, which will provide key funding to investigate and translate an exciting new therapy for Parkinson’s disease that could help minimize its debilitating symptoms and treatment-related side effects,” said Bishop.

De Smet and Assistant Professor of Geological Sciences and Environmental Studies Alex Nikulin have devised a safe and efficient way to locate abandoned oil and gas wells, which present environmental hazards across the United States. Their unique system uses drones to detect magnetic anomalies in the metal casings of abandoned oil and gas wells, pinpointing their location.

“My collaborator, Alex Nikulin, and I are excited to receive this award,” said de Smet. “Abandoned gas and oil wells are a serious environmental problem, and this funding will allow us to further investigate a technology that could help locate and address this ongoing issue.”

Bishop and de Smet will each receive $50,000 to fund their projects.

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