Parkinson's neurodegenerative disease with ITSMED visual mark

The neurodegenerative disease – Parkinson’s research group headed by Professor Edgar Kramer is working on the development and maintenance of the nervous system with a focus on cell surface proteins of neurons in the midbrain dopaminergic system of the mouse. 

This is of special interest concerning Parkinson’s disease (PD), a devastating neurodegenerative disorder with currently no cure that is characterised by the premature death of dopaminergic neurons. 

Alterations in cell surface protein signalling have been implicated in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disorders such as motor neuron diseases, PD and Alzheimer disease (AD) but also in diseases such as depression, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and schizophrenia. 

However, at present our knowledge about neuronal cell surface protein interaction, signalling and their physiological function is still limited. 

My research group focuses on investigating the cross-talk and function of the glial cell-line derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) receptors. #

In addition, we analyse the function of different intracellular proteins encoded by genes mutated or linked to PD. 

We study their signalling mechanisms on a molecular and cellular level as well as in intact animals. Therefore, we use diverse experimental approaches such as molecular biological techniques, cell culture, mouse genetics, histology, as well as behavioural and physiological experiments. 

Professor Edgar Kramer

Dr Edgar Kramer
3D brain
close up laboratory microscope, science and research concept. Image courtesy of GettyImages


  • Drinkut A, Tillack K, Meka DP, Schulz JB, Kügler S & Kramer ER 2016 'Ret is essential to mediate GDNF’s neuroprotective and neuroregenerative effect in a Parkinson disease mouse model' Cell Death and Disease7, (9) e2359-e2359 , DOI PEARL.
  • Kramer ER & Liss B 2015 'GDNF-Ret signaling in midbrain dopaminergic neurons and its implication for Parkinson disease' FEBS Letters 589, (24PartA) 3760-3772 , DOI.
  • Kramer E 2015 'The neuroprotective and regenerative potential of parkin and GDNF/Ret signaling in the midbrain dopaminergic system' Neural Regeneration Research 10, (11) 1752-1752 , DOI
  • Friedemann T, Ying Y, Wang W, Kramer ER, Schumacher U, Fei J & Schröder S 2016 'Neuroprotective Effect of Coptis chinensis in MPP+ and MPTP-Induced Parkinson’s Disease Models' The American Journal of Chinese Medicine 44, (05) 907-925 , DOI
  • Kramer ER 2015 'Crosstalk of parkin and Ret in dopaminergic neurons' Oncotarget 6, (18) 15704-15705 , DOI 
More Parkinson’s and neurodegenerative disease research publications.

Key research collaborations

  • Mouse Models of Neurodegeneration (MMoN), Medical Research Council Harwell Institute
  • Professor Konstanze Winklhofer, Department of Molecular Cell Biology, Institute of Biochemistry and Pathobiochemistry, Ruhr University Bochum, Bochum, Germany.
  • Dr Barbara Finckh, Neonatal Screening/Metabolic Laboratory, Diagnostic Center, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg
  • Professor Heiko Braak, Clinical Neuroanatomy Section, Department of Neurology, Center for Biomedical Research, University of Ulm, Ulm, Germany.
  • Professor Elizabeth Fisher, Department of Neurodegenerative Disease, UCL Institute of Neurology, Queen Square, London, UK.

Human genome view vith a focus on PARK9 - one of the genes linked to Parkinson Disease. Image courtesy of GettyImages
John Bull Building Tamar Science Park

Contact information (25959)

Institute of Translational and Stratified Medicine, University of Plymouth Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, Plymouth Science Park, Plymouth, PL6 8BU, UK

Investigating Parkinson's disease and Dementia with Lewy bodies

Thanks to funding from dementia charity BRACE, Plymouth researchers can delve deeper into understanding these devastating diseases.

Researchers at the University of Plymouth, led by Professor Edgar Kramer, are seeking to understand the causes and mechanisms that lead to the nerve cell deaths, with a vision towards improving current therapies for patients.

Find out more about the project

Professor Edgar Kramer and team Parkinson's research