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Our aim is to understand fundamental biological processes that could inform the development of targeted therapies and innovative biomarkers in neurodegenerative and neurogenetic disorders.

We are investigating disease mechanisms at different levels
We are investigating disease mechanisms at different levels

The group was established by George Tofaris to investigate cellular mechanisms that regulate the clearance of misfolded proteins or damaged organelles in age-related neurodegenerative and rare neurogenetic disorders with a primary focus on Parkinson’s disease. To this end, we are currently employing a multifaceted approach encompassing forward genetics, proteomics and transcriptomics in models of increasing cellular complexity, including the use of patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) to:

  • Decipher critical pathways at the interface between alpha-synuclein and organelle homeostasis or protein aggregation more broadly
  • Understand how disruption of these mechanisms leads to disease
  • Translate this fundamental knowledge into rational mechanism-based therapies or biomarkers

Our investigations into how cells handle alpha-synuclein led us to develop improved assays for an extracellular vesicle based blood biomarker to predict Parkinson’s disease risk and differentiate this disease from Parkinson's-like conditions. 

Our work involves interactions with research groups and patient cohorts locally and internationally as well as the pharmaceutical industry.


Selected publications

Fundamental Mechanisms Implicated in Parkinson’s Disease

A Blood Test to Predict the Risk of Parkinson’s Disease

Related research themes