Brain Sciences


Dr Sonia Gandhi awarded new fellowship

21 February 2020

Francis Crick Institute clinical group leader and IoN research fellow, Dr Sonia Gandhi, will receive £2.3 million in a new fellowship from the Medical Research Council to support her work on Parkinson’s disease.

Sonia Gandhi

Dr Sonia Gandhi, from UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology, leads the Crick’s Neurodegeneration Biology Laboratory and studies Parkinson’s disease using human stem cells and a combination of biophysical, chemical, and biological techniques. 

She’s currently on secondment at the Crick from UCL, splitting her time between the Crick lab and the National Hospital working with patients with neurological diseases.

Receiving the MRC’s Senior Clinician Fellowship will allow her team to continue their work on understanding the fundamental causes of Parkinson’s disease. Last year, Dr Gandhi led by the work of an international team to discover how clumps of the protein alpha-synuclein causes neurons to die in Parkinson’s disease. 

The findings were true for both forms of the disease – the rare ‘hereditary’ Parkinson’s, which is passed down through a family, and the common ‘sporadic’ Parkinson’s which is complex and multifactorial.

“I’m delighted to have received the fellowship and I’m looking forward to expanding our work and delving deeper into the causes of the disease,” said Dr Gandhi.

 “We’ll be focusing on piecing together the molecular causes of inherited Parkinson’s disease, with the aim of applying what we find to both variations of the disease. We hope that understanding the common mechanisms or links between different forms of disease will reveal new approaches and targets for therapy.”