The Research Department of Clinical Neurosciences comprises Professor A H V Schapira, Head of the Department Clinical Neurosciences, 3 other Professors (Prof. H Morris, Prof.A Schrag and Prof. L Ginsberg), 2 Readers (Dr. JW Taanman and Dr. JM Cooper), 2 clinical Senior Lecturers (Dr. R Orrell and Dr.C Proukakis), 2 technical posts, and one academic secretary. Additional research staff includes MRC Senior non-clinical Fellow, MRC, Wellcome and other Training Fellows, post-doctoral scientists, post-graduate PhD students, research technicians and various collaborators and visitors. Individuals taking part in research are around 50.
The primary area of research in the department is the investigation of the aetiology and pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disorders. Specifically the department has an interest in the genetics and biochemistry of Parkinson’s disease, frontotemporal dementia and progressive supranuclear palsy. The department has established an international reputation in these areas and in the area of diseases of the mitochondrial respiratory chain and inborn errors of mitochondrial function. There is an extensive research programme on the contribution of glucocerebrosidase mutations to the pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease. Research is funded by a Strategic Award from the MRC and Wellcome Trust, grants from the MRC as a Centre of Excellence for Neurodegeneration, Parkinson’s UK, Michael J Fox Foundation, European Union and several other UK and European based organisations. Total grants income exceeds 8 million pounds.
Research facilities of the department are extensive. There are general laboratories for biochemistry, molecular biology, tissue preparation etc, in addition to specialist laboratory space for tissue culture (7 hoods), molecular biology (such as qRCR, SeaHorse, IncuCyte, Chemidoc, Flow cytometer, fluorescent plate-reader), radioactive work, luminometer, spectrophotometry, lipid chemistry and histochemistry. There are advanced facilities for image analysis including an electron microscope, confocal and dual photon microscopy on campus. Since the research facilities are organised in a multiusers manner, in agreement with other Principal Investigators, the senior Research Manager, and the Research/Education Support Technician are responsible for managing the entire research facilities and the users.