MRC Prion Unit and Institute of Prion diseases


Emmanuel Asante retires from the Prion unit after 27 years.

8 October 2021

Emmanuel retirement

After 27 years of dedication to the field of prion disease research, Dr Emmanuel A. Asante has left the MRC Prion Unit at UCL to begin his well-deserved retirement. He successfully led the Transgenic group at the Unit and contributed invaluably to the research of prion diseases. His influence has served to refine approaches to the transgenic modelling of prion diseases worldwide. He and his team successfully published numerous influential articles over the years.

His achievements include elucidating by transgenic modelling a novel PrP variant, G127V, which was under positive evolutionary selection during the epidemic of kuru--an acquired prion disease epidemic of the Fore population in Papua New Guinea--and appeared to provide strong protection against disease in the heterozygous state. Therefore, people of Papua New Guinea who had this genetic variant did not get prion disease. Dr Asante was the first to demonstrate spontaneous disease development in humanized transgenic models of inherited prion disease expressing only humanized PrP. His work on the inherited prion disease Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker (GSS) disease elegantly demonstrated the importance of humanization to the faithful modelling of prion diseases.

He will be missed as a colleague, friend and a tutor at the Unit.  We wish him a happy and fulfilling retirement.