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.
Find out more about our researchMolecular, cellular and biomedical research into Parkinson’s and neurodegenerative disease
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.
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.