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John Hardy, PhD, right, accepted the 2015 Robert A. Pritzker Prize from MJFF VP Brian Fiske, PhD, and Michael J. Fox on April 15.

John Hardy awarded 2015 Robert A. Pritzker Prize for Leadership in Parkinson's Research

One of the UK Parkinson's Disease Consortium Principal Investigators, Prof John Hardy, has been awarded the 2015 Robert A. Pritzker Prize for his leadership in Parkinson's genetics research. The award was presented by Michael J. Fox at a ceremony in New York on April 15. From the Michael J. Fox Foundation website: More...

Webcast - Prof Nicholas Wood - Advances in Genetic Understanding of Parkinson's Disease.

Video: Advances in Genetic Understanding of Parkinson's Disease

Webcast of the presentation entitled ‘Advances in Genetic Understanding of Parkinson's Disease’ given by Nicholas Wood (University College London, United Kingdom) presented at the Biochemical Society Hot Topic event, PINK1-Parkin Signalling in Parkinson’s Disease and Beyond, held in December 2014. More...

Pedigrees and I-FP-CIT SPECT scan images of the four families with GCH1 mutations involved in this study.

GCH1 gene and Parkinson's risk

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.

Leonard Wolfson Experimental Neurology Centre (LWENC)

The new Leonard Wolfson Experimental Neurology Centre (LWENC) has opened for clinical studies and trials


Audioslide presentation on Claudia Manzoni's paper examining how fibroblasts with LRRK2 mutations react to starvation conditions and the possible deficits that they have in autophagy.

LRRK2 and autophagy in fibroblasts

In this paper Claudia Manzoni studies how fibroblast cells from people with Parkinson’s disease caused by mutations in LRRK2 react to starvation. Although the changes are quite subtle, there are differences between the way that fibroblasts that contain mutant LRRK2 respond to being starved – suggesting that there may be changes in the way that these cells regulate a key process called autophagy (a term which comes from the greek meaning to eat yourself, and is one of the ways that cells get rid of waste and recycle proteins and organellles).

Drosophila Genetics Group

We are using the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, as a genetic model to understand the causes of nervous system diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease. By studying the function of the fly counterparts of genes linked to Parkinson’s disease we will better understand the normal function of these genes and the consequences of when they fail.

Comparison of drosophila fly eyes

Figure 1. Scanning electron micrograph of Drosophilia eye from (left) wild type and (right) fly co-expressing Parkin and PINK1 in the eye, demonstratting a synergistic genetic interaction disrupting the eye morphology.

We use Drosophila as a model system for Parkinson’s disease as it presents an excellent opportunity to bring in vivo genetic techniques to further our understanding of this disease. We have a wide array of tools available in Drosophila which provide very powerful approaches to unravel the basis of biological malfunctions associated with a disease.

Neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease present a major challenge to modern medicine.  The identification of genes responsible for relatively rare heritable forms of this syndrome have provided valuable insight into the mechanisms of pathology.

Lab website

Page last modified on 26 jan 11 14:14