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Laura Parkkinen

Professor of Translational Neuropathology & Director of the Oxford Brain Bank

Laura Parkkinen is Professor in Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Oxford and leads the Neuropathology program of the OPDC. Her research occupies a unique interdisciplinary niche spanning clinical neuropathology, molecular biology, protein chemistry and genetics to further our understanding of Parkinson’s disease (PD) and related forms of dementia i.e. dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). She leads a research group in Oxford Brain Bank, John Radcliffe Hospital (Dr Livia Civitelli, Dr Vandana Gupta, DPhil students Selene Lee and Annie Zhao) focused to apply novel molecular and protein chemistry techniques in human post mortem brain and peripheral tissues to investigate mechanisms, drug targets and biologically-relevant biomarkers for PD and DLB. Professor Parkkinen in the forefront of a new generation of molecular neuropathologists and her scientific expertise includes next-generation neuropathology (i.e. digital pathology and deep learning algorithms), proteomics and spatial transcriptomics. In the past 20 years, she has worked in four different brain banks (Finland, Barcelona, UCL, Oxford) which has given her a solid understanding on many practical issues of brain banking varying from donation programs to methodology and diagnostics. She have led and been part of several initiatives to optimize and harmonize the diagnostic practice regarding neuropathological evaluation of synucleinopathies. This work has led to some important consensus papers currently used in the clinical practice.