Over 140 Oxford Parkinson’s researchers and collaborators were welcomed to a day of talks by scientists and clinicians showcasing the breadth and diversity of research in Parkinson’s across the University of Oxford.
We were delighted to welcome Professor Irene Tracey, Vice-Chancellor Elect of the University of Oxford, Warden of Merton College and Professor of Anaesthetic Neuroscience, who opened the days’ proceedings.
The programme was split across four sessions covering a wide range of translational work into Parkinson's: “Clinical Research into Parkinson’s”, “Translational models of Parkinson’s”, “Molecular Mechanisms and related biomarkers”, and “Cellular models and target discovery” describing work across the University and from our collaborators. There were three invited keynote speakers:-
Professor Masud Husain, University of Oxford. Masud Husain is Professor of Neurology & Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Oxford. He leads the Neurological Conditions theme of the NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre and is Editor-in-Chief of the publication, Brain. Together with Cornelia van Duijn, he leads Dementia Research Oxford. Professor Husain’s presentation was titled, “When the spark goes out: the neurology of motivation and apathy”.
Professor Miratul Muqit, University of Dundee. Miratul Muqit is Professor (Clinical) MRC Protein Phosphorylation and Ubiquitylation Unit, School of Life Sciences, University of Dundee. His laboratory studies the protein kinase, PTEN-induced kinase 1 (PINK1) in which loss of function mutations cause Parkinson’s disease. Professor Muqit presented, “Decoding Mitochondrial Damage Response Pathways linked to Parkinson’s disease”.
Professor Sonia Gandhi, UCL. Sonia Gandhi is Professor of Neurology, Clinical and Movement Neurosciences at Queen Square Institute of Neurology, University College London. Professor Gandhi’s laboratory works on the cellular and molecular biology of Parkinson’s and her talk title was, “Thinking big to see small: from nanoscale to mesoscale resolution in Parkinson’s”.
In addition to the talks, there were 37 poster presentations on display throughout the day.
The event closed with Dr Kevin McFarthing, Research Advisor, Parkinson’s UK Oxford Branch, presenting the best poster award voted for by all attendees (pictured below). The prize awarded for the best poster was won by DPhil student Victor (Shijun) Yan, from the Molecular Neurodegeneration Research Group, University of Oxford, for his poster titled, ‘α-synuclein in L1CAM-Positive Serum Extracellular Vesicles as a predictive biomarker for Parkinson’s disease pathology’.
It was a great day of scientific talks giving researchers the opportunity to network and meet with colleagues again face-to-face. We would like to thank our funders Parkinson’s UK, the Wellcome Trust and the Aligning Science Across Parkinson’s (ASAP) Consortium for supporting our work.
Professor Wade-Martins, Head of the OPDC, said “This was our sixth and best research day since we launched the Oxford Parkinson’s Disease Centre in 2010. Today, we had clinical and scientific speakers representing work across ten different departments from Oxford, Cardiff and Bristol plus keynote talks from internationally renowned experts. This resulted in an exciting day and truly exemplified the collaborative, multidisciplinary and translational nature of our work.”