James Parkinson Memorial day


Enjoying a fascinating series of lectures here at the Royal London Hospital marking the bicentenary of the publication of James Parkinson’s Essay on the Shaking Palsy. My contribution was a brief summary of his political writings, with the talk on the link below.


Prasannakumar Deshpande thesis defence


I was delighted to visit Turku over in Finland last week to act as opponent for Prasannakumar Deshpande as he defended his PhD thesis, focused around LRRK2. Prasannakumar provided an excellent defence of his work, and I was able to recommend that he be awarded his PhD – so many congratulations.

VPS35 Parkinson’s UK PhD Studentship


I’m delighted to announce that myself and Eva Kevei here at the University of Reading have been awarded funding for a three year studentship to investigate how mutations in VPS35 cause Parkinson’s disease. The project will involve working with the nematode worm C.elegans, alongside human cell models, to test what happens when a mutation is present. This is a very exciting project (we’ve just had the genetically engineered – using CRISPR – worms delivered to us). If you want to learn more or apply, click on the link below or email either myself (p.a.lewis@reading.ac.uk) or Eva (e.g.kevei@reading.ac.uk) for more information.



Behind the scenes at the Bodleian library


I spent this morning at the Bodleian library up in Oxford, leafing through the published works of James Parkinson in preparation for an upcoming exhibition on his life at the library. I felt very privileged to handle some of the rare 18th and 19th century manuscripts that the Bodleian has locked away in its vaults, and am very much looking forward to the exhibition in a few months time!

Sir William Borlase School Masterclass


On Friday I gave back to back talks to year 12 students at Sir William Borlase’s school in Marlow, talking about Parkinson’s disease and a career in biomedical research. I’ve been involved in the masterclass day at Sir William Borlase’s school for a number of years now, but I never stop being impressed by the knowledge and insight of the pupils in these sessions.

Derek Burke Viva Voce


I had the pleasant task of acting as an external examiner on Tuesday for Derek Burke, a PhD student at the Institute of Child Health/Great Ormond Street Hospital. Derek has been working on the role of Glucocerebrosidase in Parkinson’s disease for the last seven years, and provided an excellent defence of his thesis. Many congratulations to Dr Burke!