Dr. Rene Anand- Making the Impossible Plausible and then Possible in Parkinson’s Therapeutics

An interview with Dr. Rene Anand- Making the Impossible Plausible and then Possible in Parkinson’s Therapeutics on November 5, 2023 by George Ackerman, Ph.D, J.D.


Dr. Rene Anand has a master’s degree with training in Chemical/Quantum Physics from the India Institute of Technology, Madras. He was mentored for his graduate dissertation research in the Genomics by Dr. Elio Vanin (Postdoctoral Fellow of Dr. Oliver Smithies, Nobel Laureate in Medicine, 2007). He did his postdoctoral training in Neuroscience with Dr. Jon Lindstrom, co- discoverer of the cause of Myasthenia Gravis, at the Salk Institute and at the University of Pennsylvania.

He has held faculty positions at the University of Pennsylvania, Louisiana State University Neuroscience Center and The Ohio State University College of Medicine. He has served on many national grant review panels from Alzheimer’s Association, National Institute of Health Special Emphasis Panels, Autism Speaks, California Tobacco related Disease Research Program (TRDRP), American Association for Advancement of Science, The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), to international panels from Brain Canada (Canada), Israel Science Foundation (Israel) to Hong Kong Research Grants Council (China).

He has served on as an External Advisory Board Member, NERT program, Louisiana Tech; as an External Advisory Board Member for NINDS Human DNA Repository, Autism Speaks and as an External Advisor for faculty promotion at Shanghai Jiao Tong University (China).

Dr. Anand has earned the Lieber Independent Investigator Award from the Brain and Behavior Foundation (NARSAD). His research has been funded by NIH, NSF, Autism Speaks, the Bill and Marci Ingram Family Fund. He was awarded a prestigious EUREKA (Exceptional, Unconventional Research Enabling Knowledge Acceleration) NIH grant for high innovation in biomedical research.

He has been honored as an Invited Speaker at the Welcome Trust Conference (Hinxton, UK) International Association for Gerontology & Geriatrics (San Francisco, USA), Cholinergic Symposium (Iguazu, Brazil), Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience (SITRaN, UK), Cleveland Clinic Genomic Medicine Institute (USA), Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (Mumbai, India) and the Timone Neuroscience Institute (Marseille, France).


Please tell me a little about your background.


My background and how I began to advocate for patients is best seen in this Autism Speaks writeup when I started as a volunteer and then become involved in using my training to create scientific strategies with a philanthropic donation to help those afflicted by autism. That worked Well when we made a breakthrough in human ‘brain models in a dish’ from skin cells and now implementing our technology for AD, PD and many other disorders.


Breakthrough science from a Walk volunteer turned autism researcher | Autism Speaks


Can you tell me more about your organization?


Neurxstem, a visionary biotechnology company, seeks strategic partners to embark on an extraordinary journey of ground-breaking clinical trials in AD and other brain diseases/disoders including Parkinson’s. With an exceptional portfolio of proprietary technologies, patents, and a wealth of scientific validation, Neurxstem stands at the forefront of innovation in tackling this devastating disease.


Here are the five solid reasons why investing in Neurxstem AD clinical trials represents a truly exceptional and compelling opportunity, based on these five proven scientific pillars of success and innovation:


  1. US Patented Human Brain Models: . Recognizing their transformative potential, the FDA has recommended their use in future Investigational New Drug (IND) studies under the 2023 Modernization Act. This endorsement positions Neurxstem as a trailblazer, poised to lead the charge in accelerating the development and approval of novel and much needed therapies.


  1. Provisional Patented Novel Drugs: Neurxstem scientific prowess shines through its arsenal of provisional patents for novel drugs. These extraordinary compounds possess both the required safety and probably efficacy, targeting the very roots of Alzheimer’s and the aging process itself.


  1. Early Diagnostic Biomarkers and Interventions: We have pioneered a pioneering approach that can identify individuals at risk of developing Alzheimer’s and aging-related conditions including Parkinson’s at the earliest stages of life and can implement early interventions for healthy aging and wellness and provisional patents filed


  1. Comprehensive Biomarker Soft-Bank: Our provisional patented biomarker soft-bank. It is a repository of scientific knowledge, encompassing an extensive array of biomarkers curated by studying brain tissue of major brain diseases and disorders. These invaluable markers enable us to pinpoint potential targets for therapeutic intervention,


  1. Scientific Validation and Funding: Neurxstem scientific work has attracted the peer reviewed scientific validation and exceptional competitive financial support of large, respected and rigorous funding institutions, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Department of Défense (DoD) SBIRs for $1.6M.


Team of CEO, Dr. Rene Anand; COO/CMO, Dr. Peter Cruse, MD, Member of the Royal Society of Medicine, UK; and experienced scientists, business advisors and an ex-Merck drug developer.


What is your passion and how did you get involved in Parkinson’s awareness and hope for a cure?


I worked and trained with a caring Neurologist, Dr. Jayaraman Rao, who treated Parkinson’s patients in New Orleans at LSUHSC when I was a junior faculty.


He was loved by the PD community, taught me much about what it means to care for people afflicted by Parkinson’s, had taught me attend patient meetings and all that was known about PD and a few years ago tragically passed away. He told me that as a physician all he could do was treat patient with drugs based on what was known back then in medicine, but we needed to go beyond and only scientist like me with a different background other than medicine could help change the future.


I continue to be inspired by his dedication as a kind physician and build on that knowledge and now bringing our new technology we invented since then in 2015-2016 to understand and develop effective therapies for Parkinson’s with human brain models. We all stand tall on the shoulders of those who came before us to mentor the next generation – I have had the privilege of that over the last decades and just passing on the baton. (see attached)


Also, one of my good friend and fellow scientist for decades is now living with mid-late-stage Parkinson’s.


What type of goals do individuals with Parkinson’s have when working with you?


My friend is an advocate for Parkinson’s in San Diego and a private consultant for my company as a scientifically informed patient.


What effect can it have on an individual with Parkinson’s?


Very effective – it gives them hope that science and technology can make a difference. Hope is the beginning that drives determination, perseverance, innovation, and implementation to ultimately change the course of a brain disease.


What would you like to see as a future goal for your programs?


We have human brain models for Parkinson’s, and we have shown that ADRD patients have comorbid Parkinson’s biomarkers. As such we would like to advance early diagnostics and effective therapeutics building on our new data from human models.


What events do you participate in?


Events that include patients like I did at Lausanne X in Switzerland.


How does this also assist the caregivers?


Gives them hope that rigorous science can eventually address Parkinson’s disease in their family.


How can someone get in touch?  What is your website?



Ph: 985-788-0994



How can others also become advocates for awareness?


MJFF and others already do a good job.


We hope that they will become aware of our technology and how it can make a huge difference in their efforts on behalf of Parkinson’s patients.


In your opinion what is the key to effective advocacy? 


Involving all the stakeholders including the patients is critical for effective advocacy and ultimately results.

ARPA-H and CEOi’s Lausanne X (even though not specific to Parkinson’s) are good examples of moving beyond the “status quo” and creating new initiatives to make a difference in patients’ lives.

More recently, I have become involved with both to accomplish real world cures for brain disease including AD and Parkinson’s.


How can we better fundraise to support a cure for Parkinson’s?

The cost of clinical trial for developing drugs for Parkinson’s is non-trivial for small companies. Only those who wish to invest in novel strategies and have wealth can make a real-world difference.


What other activities do you undertake to help improve and support your daily living Eg exercise and alternative remedies?


Exercise and daily multivitamins and anti-oxidant diet.


Why should people who don’t have Parkinson’s care about this? 


There is lots of evidence that environmental toxin susceptibility also contributes to the etiology of Parkinson’s. No one is immune to these factors if they wish to live a healthy life.

Have you had any family members or relatives affected by Parkinson’s disease?

Yes – one of my uncles who passed away.


If you had one song that would tell us more about you or represent your life, which song would it be?


I am from an older generation and remember the Beatles.

“Beatles – Let It Be”

All of us brokenhearted people can and will make a difference.


If you had one final statement or quote you could leave for the Parkinson’s community, what would it be?


“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has” – Margaret Mead