Sweden's Karolinska institute gave the honorary degree of medicine to the Canadian-American actor for his work to raise funds and awareness for Parkinson's disease. According to the Institute, the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research has over the last ten years given more than $175 million to research aimed at developing drugs against the disease. Fox, who since diagnosed with Parkinson's, has become known for promoting research and awareness of the disease and the need for improved treatments and a cure. In 2000 he founded MJFF, today the world's largest private funder of Parkinson's research.

"In its short history, the Michael J. Fox Foundation has gained the admiration and respect of the worldwide research community for its rigorous scientific standards and its commitment to quickly and aggressively funding high-impact therapeutic development," Clara H. Gumpert, Dean of Karolinska Institute said. "Strongly influenced by Michael's personal philosophy, his foundation operates with rare dynamism and a constant focus on speeding breakthrough treatments to the world's five million Parkinson's patients."

"I'm grateful to the Board of Research for this tremendous honour," Michael J. Fox said. "It's especially meaningful because our Foundation and Karolinska Institutet share a belief in the power of scientific endeavour to create a future that is better for everyone, and a commitment to act strategically - even unconventionally - to help bring that future closer."

According to a release from Karoliska, Honorary doctorates at the Institute are awarded to academics who have made a significant contribution, scientific or otherwise, to research at the university, and to people who have not earned a PhD through formal academic achievements, but who have nonetheless benefited research and development through other means.
More info about Karolinska,see www.ki.se and about the Michael J Fox foundation, see www.michaeljfox.org