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Investigating the Immune Basis of Parkinson’s Disease (PhD only)

Department of Clinical Neurosciences

Thursday, December 03, 2020 Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

It is now well established that immune activation occurs in Parkinson’s disease, but whether it plays a critical role in disease onset and progression remains uncertain. This is a critical question to address given that the immune system is a tractable target for disease-modifying therapy. My lab focuses on investigating this through neuropathological studies on post mortem human brain, PET brain imaging studies and analysis of blood and cerebrospinal fluid samples from Parkinson’s cases and controls. The project will extend this work to include investigation of cases with prodromal Parkinson’s disease, in order to determine whether immune activation precedes disease onset and whether it is predictive of conversion to Parkinson’s disease. It will focus on studying markers of immune activation and dysregulation in biological samples, and correlation with detailed longitudinal clinical measures and outcomes. Laboratory techniques will include multiplex immunoassays, immunophenotyping using flow cytometry, and functional lymphocyte and monocyte assays. This work will allow detailed characterisation of immune abnormalities in the earliest stages of PD to guide the development of future immune-based therapies and identify optimal immune-related biomarkers to track response to such therapies.

Funding Notes

Funding deadline is 3rd December 2020 for start in October 2021. When applying indicate on the application the funding options (GATES USA *deadline 14/10/20*, Gates Cambridge or other Cambridge Funders). Home/EU and International applications are all considered for funding.


Applicants can only be considered if they apply via the applicant portal which can be found at this link; please do not send in an enquiry and CV as this will not be considered an application.

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