- Parkinson’s Neuropathology Group Research Group
Group leader and Senior Research Fellow
Laura Parkkinen heads the neuropathology arm of Oxford Parkinson’s Disease Centre ( OPDC, website: opdc.medsci.ox.ac.uk) and her team in the Academic Unit of Neuropathology consists of a post doc Dr Ilaria Poggioloni, DPhil student Claudio Ruffmann and research scientist Hazal Haytural with varying number of MSc and FHS students. After graduating from King’s College London with degrees in Pharmacology (BSc) and Neuroscience (MSc), Laura returned to Finland, where she obtained her PhD in Experimental Neuropathology in 2005 in the University of Kuopio. Her PhD and early postdoctoral work produced indisputable data demonstrating some inadequacies of currently accepted paradigms in the clinico-pathological correlations of Parkinson’s disease (PD) from which she received a Franz Nissl Young Investigator Award given by the International Society of Neuropathology. From 2005-2008, Laura worked for the Brain Net Europe consortium harmonizing the diagnosis of PD-related pathologies. She returned to UK in 2008 to work as a post-doctoral fellow in the Queen Square Brain Bank, University College London studying various neuropathological substrates of Levodopa treatment, dementia, visual hallucinations and glucocerebrosidase mutations in PD. Laura has worked in four different brain banks (Finland, Barcelona, UCL, Oxford) which has given her a solid understanding on many practical issues varying from donation programs to methodology and diagnostic work. Since joining the NDCN in 2010, her work has been funded by the £5 million Monument Discovery Award from Parkinson’s UK to OPDC and this funding was recently renewed for further 5 years (£5.8 million). Her group was also awarded with a Biomarker project grant ($400.000) from Michael J Fox Foundation that allows the development of more specific and sensitive assays to detect disease-associated alpha-synuclein species in the peripheral tissues and CSF of Parkinson’s patients.
Analysis of C9orf72 repeat expansions in a large international cohort of dementia with Lewy bodies.
Kun-Rodrigues C. et al, (2017), Neurobiol Aging, 49, 214.e13 - 214.e15
DNM3 and genetic modifiers of age of onset in LRRK2 Gly2019Ser parkinsonism: a genome-wide linkage and association study
Parkkinen LJ., (2016), Lancet Neurology
Alpha-synuclein RT-QuIC in the CSF of patients with alpha-synucleinopathies.
Fairfoul G. et al, (2016), Ann Clin Transl Neurol, 3, 812 - 818
α-synuclein genetic variability: A biomarker for dementia in Parkinson disease.
Guella I. et al, (2016), Ann Neurol, 79, 991 - 999
Gut Feelings About α-Synuclein in Gastrointestinal Biopsies: Biomarker in the Making?
Ruffmann C. and Parkkinen L., (2016), Mov Disord, 31, 193 - 202