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Piepenbrock Group and German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases honour Professor Hardy

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Professor John Hardy - copyright Royal Society

Professor John Hardy, UCL Institute of Neurology, will be awarded this year’s “Hartwig Piepenbrock-DZNE Prize” honouring his seminal contributions to the study of Alzheimer’s disease.

The award ceremony will take place on World Alzheimer's Day, September 21, 2015, in Bonn, Germany.

Professor Hardy has made ground-breaking findings on the molecular causes of this brain disorder. His discoveries provide the basis for therapeutic approaches and potential medicines.

Professor John Hardy - copyright Royal Society

BRC funding for experimental medicine research projects

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UCL Hospitals Biomedical Research Centre have funded several research projects in the Neurosciences programme, including four from UCL Institute of Neurology:

Research into genetic influences on epilepsy and migraines

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Researchers at UCL Institute of Neurology have begun to investigate genetic influences on neurological disorders such as ataxia, epilepsy and rare and severe headache disorders.

Professor Lees awarded ABN Medal 2015

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Professor Andrew Lees receiving ABN medal

We are pleased to announce that Professor Andrew Lees, Professor of Neurology, National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, and Emeritus Director, Reta Lila Weston Institute of Neurological Studies, UCL Institute of Neurology, is the ABN Medallist 2015.

The ABN Medal is awarded annually to recognise outstanding contributions by British and Irish neurologists to the science or practice of neurology, or for contributions to the Association. Professor Lees’ medallist lecture was entitled Butterflies of the Soul.

Professor Andrew Lees receiving ABN medal

Professor Hardy elected member of EMBO

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Professor John Hardy, UCL Institute of Neurology, has been elected to EMBO membership, alongside other outstanding researchers in the life sciences.

Working with Saracens to monitor concussion in rugby

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Saracens rugby

A team of researchers from the UCL Institute of Neurology have joined the ongoing Saracens study for the 2015/16 season, which combines impact sensors with blood samples to determine the effects of concussion on rugby players.

A new genetic switch uncovered in the long genes expressed in our brain

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A new mechanism for splicing-based gene regulation has been discovered in vertebrates by a team of researchers at UCL Institute of Neurology and UCL Genetics Institute, showing that sometimes cells select a piece of a gene as an exon, but then later discard this piece in the process called ‘recursive splicing’.

Professor Mary Reilly is elected to be the first female President of the Association of British Neurologists in 83 years

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Professor Mary Reilly has been elected ABN President from 2017-2019 and is President elect from 2015-2017.

Professor Reilly has been a consultant Neurologist at Queen Square since 1998 and was promoted to Professor of Clinical Neurology at UCL in 2010. She is head of the Division of Clinical Neurology and Co-Director of the MRC Centre for Neuromuscular Diseases in the Department of Molecular Neurosciences at UCL Institute of Neurology. She is internationally recognised for her expertise in research and clinical practice related to peripheral nerve diseases.

Structure of genetic messenger molecules reveals key role in diseases

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Illustration of connections across mRNA molecules, where colour indicates length

Messenger RNAs (mRNA) are linear molecules that contain instructions for producing the proteins that keep living cells functioning. A new study by UCL researchers has shown how the three-dimensional structures of mRNAs determine their stability and efficiency inside cells. This new knowledge could help to explain how seemingly minor mutations that alter mRNA structure might cause things to go wrong in neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.

BRC awards £700,000 to neuroscience projects

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The BRC have awarded over £700,000 to three exciting clinical research projects in neuroscience.

The awards were confirmed last month for the following innovative projects:

Professor Lees receives Jay Van Andel Award for Outstanding Research in Parkinson’s Disease

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Professor Andrew Lees

The Jay Van Andel Award for Outstanding Achievement in Parkinson’s Disease Research was established to honour the memory and contributions of the Van Andel Institute’s founder.

Creating brain cells from skin to study Alzheimer's

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Dr Selina Wray

An early-career researcher at UCL Institute of Neurology has just been awarded £900,000 for a stem cell study to develop new treatments for dementia.

GCH1 gene and Parkinson’s risk

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A study published in Brain, led by researchers at UCL Institute of Neurology, has shown that genetic mutations which cause a decrease in dopamine production in the brain and lead to a form of childhood-onset Dystonia, also play a role in the development of Parkinson’s disease.

Double mutation linked to frontotemporal dementia

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Pathological structures unique to cases with C9orf72 expansion mutation

Researchers at UCL Institute of Neurology have found for the first time a double mutation in a family with frontotemporal dementia (FTD), which may further our understanding of the underlying processes involved in these diseases.

Immune system implicated in dementia development

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Diagram showing areas of the brain affected by FTD

The immune system and body’s response to damaged cells play a key role in the development of frontotemporal dementia (FTD), finds new research led by the UCL Institute of Neurology.

Vitamin B3 treatment for ataxia shows promise in first human trial

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Dr Vincenzo Libri

An essential vitamin commonly known for processing fat and proteins in the body may hold the key to slowing the progression of Friedreich’s ataxia, according to findings published today in The Lancet.

Professor Hardy awarded Thudichum Medal by Biochemical Society

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Professor John Hardy - copyright Royal Society

We are delighted to announce that Professor John Hardy, Head of Molecular Neuroscience at UCL Institute of Neurology, has been unanimously awarded the 2015 Thudichum Medal by the Biochemical Society Awards Committee

Professor Hardy awarded Dan David Prize for work on the amyloid gene encoding APP

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Professor John Hardy - copyright Royal Society

Professor John Hardy, Head of Molecular Neuroscience at UCL Institute of Neurology, has been awarded the Dan David Prize for his work on the amyloid gene encoding the amyloid precursor protein (APP).

This is a prestigious international prize which annually awards three prizes of US$ 1 million each for achievements having an outstanding scientific, technological, cultural or social impact on our world. Each year fields are chosen within the three Time Dimensions - Past, Present and Future.

NIHR award £650,000 for research into rare neurodegenerative and neuromuscular diseases

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The National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Rare Diseases Translational Research Collaboration has awarded a total of £650,000 to extend research into rare neurodegenerative and neuromuscular diseases. 

Predicting age at onset in SCA1 : does size matter?

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Research at the UCL Institute of Neurology, led by Paola Giunti, and the MRC National Institute for Medical Research, and published in the journal PloS Genetics, has shown how the length and the nature of gene repeat expansions affects spinocerebellar ataxia type 1 (SCA1).

Riboflavin Treatment for Childhood onset Motor Neuron Disease

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A clinical and genetic study based at UCL Institute of Neurology and the Institute of Child Health, recently published in Brain, has used next generation sequencing to identify riboflavin transporter gene defects as the defective pathway in a severe form of childhood motor neuron disease. Children with these defects significantly respond to high dose riboflavin.

Different gene expression in male and female brains helps explain differences in brain disorders

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UCL scientists have shown that there are widespread differences in how genes, the basic building blocks of the human body, are expressed in men and women’s brains.

Genetic mutations linked to Parkinson's Disease

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Research led by Dr Helene Plun-Favreau (UCL Institute of Neurology) has discovered how genetic mutations linked to Parkinson’s disease might play a key role in the death of brain cells, potentially paving the way for the development of more effective drug treatments.

The Michael J. Fox Foundation awards grant for Exenatide research

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Following encouraging results recently published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation describing the progress of a cohort of patients treated with Exenatide for their Parkinson’s disease (PD), The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research has awarded a grant of $1.98 million to Dr. T Foltynie to pursue this avenue of research.

From Bedside to Bench in the Institute’s MRC Centre for Neuromuscular Diseases

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'Back translation' provides new insights into mitochondrial biology

Researchers working at the Institute’s MRC Centre for Neuromuscular Diseases have made a potentially important discovery relevant to understanding both mitochondrial biology and human mitochondrial neurological disease. The research is a good example of “back-translation” in which careful research observations in patients can inform knowledge about normal biology.

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