The Michael J. Fox Foundation Partners with Cohen Veterans Bioscience on BRAINCommons, Harnessing the Power of Big Data for Brain Diseases

The Michael J. Fox Foundation Partners with Cohen Veterans Bioscience on BRAIN Commons, Harnessing the Power of Big Data for Brain DiseasesWASHINGTONOct. 11, 2018 – Today, at the Cohen Veterans Care Summit, the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF) and Cohen Veterans Bioscience announce their partnership on BRAINCommons, a platform designed to fuel the use of big data in brain disease research. It provides unprecedented access to research data and analytics.

“Data sharing is critical to research discoveries,” says MJFF CEO Todd Sherer, PhD. “By including data across neurodegenerative diseases, BRAINCommons facilitates research collaboration, data exploration, and reproducibility. The insights it creates will accelerate the development of new therapies for Parkinson’s and similar diseases.”

BRAINCommons is tailored to brain research as its flexible data model accommodates a range of research data (e.g., neuroimaging, wearables/sensors, ‘omics). Researchers can visualize cohort trends, build data pipelines and run high-dimensional computations on all data types directly in the data commons. This dynamic workspace catalyzes hypothesis generation, data exploration, replication and validation.

The Michael J. Fox Foundation is joining the BRAINCommons Membership Program and contributing standardized data across its research programs, including the Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI), BioFIND, the LRRK2 Cohort Consortium, its digital health portfolio, and other Parkinson’s disease cohorts.

“The BRAINCommons’ flexible and scalable graph-based data model enables us to partner with other Foundations that have their own high-quality curated and harmonized data, to share within and between disease areas, allowing for cross-cohort and cross-disease querying and analysis, thus maximizing the value of contributed data,” says Cohen Veterans Bioscience Chief Information Officer Lee Lancashire, PhD.

BRAINCommons was launched and sponsored by Cohen Veterans Bioscience and co-developed with the Center for Data Intensive Science at the University of Chicago, which has launched three generations of data commons platforms.


About The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research
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 more than $800 million 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; 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


About Cohen Veterans Bioscience 
Cohen Veterans Bioscience is a national, nonpartisan research 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to fast-tracking the development of diagnostic tests and personalized therapeutics for the millions of veterans and civilians who suffer the devastating effects of trauma-related and other brain disorders. To support & learn more about our research efforts, visit


Media Contacts:


Allison Boiles
The Michael J. Fox Foundation

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