On Friday I made my way over to Esher to give a talk at Esher Sixth Form College, talking to an assembled group of year 12 and 13 students about Parkinson’s disease and career paths in biomedical research. A very enjoyable visit, and several excellent questions from the students.
I spent yesterday over at the Biotrinity meeting in London, talking about some of the recent research going on in across neurodegeneration on the interaction between the gut microbiome and changes in the brain that lead to cell death as part of a panel discussion. Fascinating meeting, with a very different focus to the more academically orientated meetings that I normally attend.
A couple of comments from myself and from two other academics (David Dexter of Parkinson’s UK and Christopher Morris from Newcastle University) on a paper just published by a group at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm showing that Astrocytes can be converted into Dopaminergic neurons.
Read our comments here:
And the original paper here:
Just out in Neurogenetics, Megha Murthy and Daniah Trabzuni from the lab have published a study of a region on chromosome 7 that is associated with Parkinson’s disease in the most recent genome wide association study. By looking at gene expression in the region, they identified variation in GPNMB as the most likely cause of that association – you can read all about it here.
My article on James Parkinson has been reposted by the Parkinson’s Life website, available at the link below:
The original article, particularly pertinent in this year of the bicentenary of James Parkinson, is available to download for free from the Journal of Parkinson’s disease:
And for those who are really interested, these are links to reprints of the Essay on the Shaking Palsy:
Today was the annual University of Reading School of Pharmacy PhD showcase, where the PhD students in the school get to talk about all the exciting science they have been doing. James from the lab was talking about his work developing an interactome map for the ROCO proteins, hopefully coming to a journal near you soon.
Claudia Manzoni, Daniah Trabzuni and Megha Murthy from the group are all in Vienna this week at the AD/PD meeting. Daniah and Claudia are giving talks (Claudia at the International Parkinson’s Disease Consortium meeting), and Megha is giving a poster presentation about her research into the PD risk locus on chromosome 7 – which has just been accepted for publication (more details on this soon). I’m looking after the lab, waiting for the arrival of a new laboratory member with a due date of the 16th of April.
I spent today attending the World Neuroscience Innovation Forum at the Francis Crick Institute, a really fascinating series of panel talks and one to one discussions on the advances and challenges in the field of neurodegeneration. Some really, really thought provoking conversations. And the Crick has some very good cakes to boot.
I spent Monday attending the Oxford Parkinson’s disease centre research day, a full day of lectures and posters about the research being carried out on PD up in Oxford. Some fascinating talks, the most memorable being one from Masud Husain talking about his research on cognitive changes in people living with Parkinson’s.
Many thanks to the Reading University Psychology society for inviting me to speak at their Brain Awareness week symposium on Parkinson’s disease. I talked about some of the milestones in 200 years of Parkinson’s research, since James Parkinson wrote his essay on the Shaking Palsy (the Youtube video of this is above). Coincidently, the Journal of Parkinson’s disease has an open access issue out now that covers a number of these milestones (click on the link below for access).