UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology


Institute awarded Global Parkinson’s Genetics Program (GP2) training grant

31 July 2022

We’re delighted to announce this award to UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology which funds four Neurologists from Africa on our Distance Learning Clinical Neurology MSc

GP2 logo

The recipients are:

  • Dr Mohamed Ahmed Nour from Djibouti
  • Dr Vida Obese from Ghana

Vida Obese, Ghana

Vida Obese
“Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is the focus of both my clinical and research interest.
My research interest focuses on understanding the clinical phenotype, natural progression and molecular bases of PD. For this reason, I joined the Parkinson’s Disease Genomic Consortium Africa (IPDGC- Africa) when it was created in 2019. I started the first foundation for patients with PD in Ghana. Through my work at the foundation, I have become a lead advocate for patients’ education, better access to care and the elimination of the stigma associated with PD. The foundation is a strong promoter of more research and training opportunities for health professionals in PD in Ghana and beyond.
The opportunity to study MSc Clinical Neurology will help me address the paucity of data in African patients with PD. My study will be the first effort to understand the phenotype and genetic background of patients in Ghana. I hope this opportunity will help me build long lasting connections which I can utilize to strengthen the research in PD in Ghana and neighboring countries.
I believe my clinical and research interest, and my contribution to the IPDGC-Africa effort is in complete alignment with the GP2 effort of increasing diversity and enhancing research in under-represented groups in Sub-Saharan Africa. I hope my research project has the potential to identify, for the first time, various genetic variants related to Parkinson’s disease in West Africa and will add significantly to the wider GP2 effort. It is our honor to be a part of GP2.”

Mohamed Ahmed Nour, Djibouti

Mohamed Nour
“My name is Mohamed Ahmed Nour and I am a general practitioner from Djibouti. I graduated from the Medical School of Djibouti in 2018.
I joined the Neurology Department at the National Mental Health University Hospital Razi in Tunisia as a trainee 3 years ago, which has an excellent academic reference in various neurodegenerative diseases in Africa. My major interest is to upgrade my understanding of neurology and neurodegenerative diseases, particularly Parkinson’s disease, as well as genetics; a specialty that continues to be under-represented in Djibouti. My purpose is to also enhance my management skills, scientific research, and data analysis, which are essential and much needed within my mother country.”

The MSc is aimed at doctors who are looking to further their knowledge and skills in clinical neurology. The fully interactive course provides scientific and clinical knowledge through online lectures, several opportunities of clinical case discussion, case-based learning through online forums and video conference with tutors and research supervisors.

The Global Parkinson’s Genetics Program (GP2) is a five-year program aiming to further understand the genetic architecture of Parkinson’s disease. GP2 is a resource of Aligning Science Across Parkinson’s (ASAP), a coordinated research initiative to advance targeted basic research for Parkinson’s disease. Its mission is to accelerate the pace of discovery and inform the path to a cure through collaboration, research enabling resources, and data sharing.

The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research is ASAP’s implementation partner and issued the training grant.

“To gather a full picture of Parkinson’s disease—and design treatments for people around the world—the research enterprise needs a workforce trained not only in science but in cultural competency. ASAP is proud to support programs that expand access to research training for the benefit of students and their countries,” – Ekemini Riley, PhD, ASAP Managing Director
"We are thankful to announce the first scholarship programme for our Clinical Neurology by distance learning course at the Queen Square IoN. This will be a full scholarship enabling four doctors from Africa to take our MSc in Clinical Neurology (blended option), beginning this term. The scholarship will be provided by the Global Parkinson’s Genetics Program (GP2), which is in turn funded by the Michael J Fox Foundation.
Next year will mark the 10th anniversary of the first students starting our Clinical Neurology by distance learning course at the Queen Square IoN. Our international award-winning course has prided itself on an inclusive approach with student members representing six different continents. Right from the early days of the course we have had students from the continent of Africa. An African student was the first winner of our Simon Shorvon medal for finishing top overall in their year.
We are delighted to continue this rich association with African students with this new scholarship. We look forward with hope and excitement to this new phase on our course’s journey and warmly welcome both these scholarship winners and all our new and returning students for this coming academic year.’  Dr Tim Young Course co-director Clinical Neurology by distance learning MSc/Diploma/PG Cert