The Parkinson Progression Marker Initiative (PPMI) is a comprehensive observational, international, multi-center study designed to identify PD progression biomarkers both to improve understanding of disease etiology and course and to provide crucial tools to enhance the likelihood of success of PD modifying therapeutic trials. The PPMI cohort will comprise 400 recently diagnosed PD and 200 healthy subjects followed longitudinally for clinical, imaging and biospecimen biomarker assessment using standardized data acquisition protocols at twenty-one clinical sites. All study data will be integrated in the PPMI study database and will be rapidly and publically available through the PPMI web site- www.ppmi-info.org. Biological samples including longitudinal collection of blood, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and urine will be available to scientists by application to an independent PPMI biospecimen review committee also through the PPMI web site. PPMI will rely on a partnership of government, PD foundations, industry and academics working cooperatively. This approach is crucial to enhance the potential for success of this ambitious strategy to develop PD progression biomarkers that will accelerate research in disease modifying therapeutics. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.