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Cambridge Immunology Network



Supervisor: Professor Nick Gay

Parkinson's disease is a chronic neurodegenerative condition characterised by the destruction of dopaminergic neurones and loss of motor control in sufferers. Our understanding of the underlying processes involved in Parkinson's disease pathogenesis is lacking, perhaps explaining why no truly long-term therapeutic options exist for treatment of the condition. Neuroinflammation is now appreciated as key component in Parkinson's disease, and other neurodegenerative disorders. Understanding how, and why neuroinflammation develops in Parkinson's sufferers may help us to understand and treat the disease.

Mutations within the gene encoding Leucine Rich Repeat Kinase 2 (LRRK2) have been shown to cause a heritable form of Parkinson's disease in some families, while such mutations are also observed to be associated with an increased risk of developing the condition in larger populations. Interestingly, mutations in LRRK2 are associated not just with the development of Parkinson's, but also other inflammatory conditions such as Crohn's disease.

Given the association of LRRK2 with innate immune conditions, and the role of inflammation in Parkinson's disease pathology, my research focuses on uncovering the ways LRRK2 may modulate innate immune signalling and processes.

To this end, I have been working between the labs of Professor Nick Gay and Professor Clare Bryant to investigate LRRK2 at the biochemical, molecular, and cellular levels. I employ a wide range of techniques towards this aim, from protein expression and purification, to tissue culture techniques, and transcriptomic analysis.

Not available for consultancy


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Person keywords: 
flow cytometry
cellular immunology
immune signalling
sterile inflammation
Toll-like receptors
protein purification
x-ray crystallography
immune system
Innate Immune System