Michele Hu is Associate Professor at the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Oxford and Honorary Consultant Neurologist at Oxford University Hospitals. After obtaining her medical degree from the University of London in 1993, Michele’s interest in Parkinson’s disease started in 1998 when she was awarded an Action Research Training Fellowship to study brain function in Parkinson’s disease patients using MRI and PET brain imaging techniques. In 2001 she was awarded her PhD based on this work, and went on to train in Parkinson’s disease and movement disorders at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Royal Free Hospital and Oxford University Hospitals.
Since commencing her NHS consultant appointment in 2005, Michele has led the medical Parkinson’s disease and movement disorders service, setting up one of only seven nationally-accredited atypical PD clinics (MSA, CBD and PSP) at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust, in addition to managing a caseload of more than 600 Parkinson’s patients. She is a member of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Neurodegeneration Speciality Group, and is the NIHR Parkinson’s Speciality Lead for the Thames Valley and South Midlands region. Since 2015, she has chaired the Research Engagement Committee of the UK Parkinson’s Excellence Network, and is a member of the Parkinson’s UK Cohort Studies Council.
Michele is co-Principle Investigator with Professor Richard Wade-Martins of the Oxford Parkinson’s Disease Centre, and leads the Clinical Theme of this £10.7 million Monument Discovery 10 year award funded by Parkinson’s UK to understand the earliest pathological pathways in PD. In 2013, she moved to her current post as Senior Clinical Research Fellow, and subsequently Associate Professor at the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Oxford in 2015. Her current academic funding facilitates translational research in the field of longitudinal cohort studies and biomarkers for early and prodromal Parkinson’s disease, with particular focus on REM sleep behavior disorder and how sleep affects neurodegeneration.
Awards, Training and Qualifications
- MBBS University of London 1993
- PhD University of London 2001
- FRCP Royal College of Physicians, London 2009
Sources of FundinG
1. Parkinson’s UK Monument Discovery Award “Targeting the pathological pathways to Parkinson’s”, Principal Investigator Dr Richard Wade-Martins, co-Principle Investigator M Hu . £5.8 million Parkinson’s UK Monument Discovery Award, Grant Reference J-1403, Awarded 2015-2020.
2. Innovative Medicines Initiative. “StemBANCC. Stem cells for Biological Assays of Novel drugs and prediCtive toxicology”, University of Oxford partner M Hu responsible for PD patient recruitment. University of Oxford allocation €8,000,000. Awarded June 2012-2017.
3. “Prodromal Gait” Co-applicant M Hu. NIHR funded project grant, £32,000 awarded 2015-2018.
4. “Wearable technology for diagnosis & monitoring of RBD (REM sleep behavioural disorder)”, Principle Investigator M Hu . Neurological Conditions theme of the Oxford Biomedical Research Centre (BRC), £410,000 awarded April 2017-2020.
5. “Development of potential diagnostic biomarkers in Parkinson’s disease”, Co-applicant M Hu. Michael J. Fox Foundation Biomarker Grant. $400,000 awarded Dec 2014-2017.
6. “Twinning for a comprehensive clinical centre for diagnosis and treatment of Parkinson’s disease: CENTRE PD”, Co-I and Oxford Group Lead M Hu. H2020-TWINN-2015 EU funding. €225,000 awarded to Oxford, September 2015-2018.
7. “Dopaminergic correlates of resting state fMRI activity in REM sleep behaviour disorder”, Principal Investigator M Hu. GE Healthcare project grant,
£25,000 plus 50 doses of DaTSCAN awarded to Oxford, August 2015-2018.
1. ‘The Milton Keynes Parkinson’s Disease Project’ Principle Investigator M Hu. £10,000 innovation grant from the Parkinson’s UK, April 2007-2008.
2. Parkinson’s UK Monument Discovery Award “Understanding the early pathological pathways to Parkinson’s disease”, Principal Investigator Dr Richard Wade-Martins, co-Principle Investigator M Hu. £5 million Parkinson’s UK Monument Discovery Award, Grant Reference J-0901, September 2009-2015
3. Oxford Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) Functional Neuroscience and Neuroimaging Theme, PI M Hu £29,200. April 2015-2018
4. Parkinson’s UK Innovation Grant “Predicting risk of dyskinesia in Parkinson’s disease”, Co-applicant M Hu. £19,792, June 2012-2015.
5. Parkinson’s UK Translational Research Grant. ‘Point of care PD diagnosis and prognosis’. Co-applicant M Hu. £150,000, October 2012-2015.
6. BRC Clinical Training Research Fellowship ‘Imaging biomarkers for pre-motor Parkinson’s disease, Supervisor Michele Hu. £168,000, awarded October 2012-2015.
7. Oxford/UCB Alliance. "Novel biomarkers to understand the earliest pathological pathways in Parkinson’s disease". Co-Applicant M Hu. £520,000, awarded June 2013-2016.
8. ”Virtual, physiological and computational neuromuscular models for the predictive treatment of Parkinson’s Disease- NoTremor”. EU small or medium-scale focused research project (STREP) Award, co-Investigator M Hu. €632,800, May 2013-2016
9. Cure Parkinson’s Trust and BRC co-funded Clinical Training Research Fellowship Two years CRF funding. Supervisor M Hu September 2013-2016.
10. “Biomarkers for Dementia and Cognitive decline in Parkinson’s disease”, Principle Investigator M Hu, , Parkinson’s UK innovation grant. £33,300, Grant reference K-1404. Awarded August 2014-2015.
11. “Harmonization of biomarker assessment in longitudinal cohort studies in Parkinson’s disease”, Co-applicant M Hu. JPND research programme grant: EU Joint Programme- Neurodegenerative Disease Research. €50,000 awarded August 2014-2015.
MBBS FRCP PhD
Associate Professor and Consultant Neurologist
‘Understanding the early pathological pathways to Parkinson’s disease’, Parkinson’s UK Monument Discovery Award, awarded September 2009 and 2014.PI- Professor Richard Wade-Martins, co-PI Dr Michele Hu.
The Oxford Parkinson’s Disease Centre applied for this £5.0 million Discovery Award among national competition in July 2009, with a successful £5.8 million renewal funding application awarded in 2014.This multi-disciplinary project brings together scientists from Oxford University with international expertise in genomics; the development, analysis and utilisation of animal models using the tools of molecular genetics, neuropathology and neuropharmacology; and the analysis of biomarkers including a proteomics study and novel MRI paradigms in a large clinical cohort of 1500 people with Parkinson’s disease.
Dr Michele Hu leads the clinical theme in establishing a cohort of early Parkinson’s disease patients recruited from a population base across the Thames Valley, and followed longitudinally over 10 years to develop and validate early PD biomarkers. So far, in excess of 1500 participants in total, who comprise Parkinson's and control subjects, Parkinson's siblings and individuals with REM sleep behaviour disorder, (RBD) have been recruited to this study.
Her current funding looks at how sleep can influence neurodegeneration, focusing on a cohort of over 200 PSG-defined RBD subjects with prodromal Parkinson's and 1000 early motoric Parkinson's subjects. Biomarkers currently being investigated and tested for their utility as baseline stratification and progression markers in Parkinson's include: wet lab-based biomarkers (spinal fluid, plasma, serum, skin), Brain imaging (DaT SPECT brain and MRI brain scans), smartphone-based tests of motor and cognitive function, and sleep EEG/EMG markers.
OTHER RESEARCH ACTIVITIES
Dr Michele Hu is research director for Parkinson’s disease in the Thames Valley Dementias and Neurodegenerative Disease Research Network (DeNDRoN), and is responsible for delivery of a portfolio of commercial and non-commercially funded studies in Parkinson's and related disorders.
INDUSTRY/NIHR SPONSORED RESEARCH
Co-Investigator NIHR Multi-centre UK Study of the Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitor Donepezil in Early Dementia Associated with Parkinson's Disease. NIHR and Michael-J Fox Foundation Funded.
UK Lead Co-Investigator Astra Zeneca A 12-Week, Multicenter, Randomized, Parallel-Group Study to Assess the Safety, Tolerability, Pharmacokinetics, Biomarker Effects, Efficacy, and Effect on Microglia Activation, as Measured by Positron Emission Tomography, of AZD3241 in Subjects with Multiple System Atrophy
Co-Investigator IRL790C003: A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase IIa study evaluating the efficacy and tolerability of IRL790 in Parkinson’s disease dyskinesia
Co-Investigator Biogen SPARK 228PD201, A multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of the safety, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics of BIIB054 in subjects with Parkinson’s disease
Basal ganglia dysfunction in idiopathic REM sleep behaviour disorder parallels that in early Parkinson's disease.
Rolinski M. et al, (2016), Brain, 139, 2224 - 2234
Visual short-term memory deficits in REM sleep behaviour disorder mirror those in Parkinson's disease.
Rolinski M. et al, (2016), Brain, 139, 47 - 53
Predictors of cognitive impairment in an early stage Parkinson's disease cohort.
Hu MTM. et al, (2014), Mov Disord, 29, 351 - 359
REM sleep behaviour disorder is associated with worse quality of life and other non-motor features in early Parkinson's disease.
Rolinski M. et al, (2014), J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry, 85, 560 - 566
Prodromal Parkinsonism and Neurodegenerative Risk Stratification in REM Sleep Behavior Disorder.
Barber TR. et al, (2017), Sleep, 40
Distinct effects of apathy and dopamine on effort-based decision-making in Parkinson's disease.
Le Heron C. et al, (2018), Brain, 141, 1455 - 1469
Cortical structural involvement and cognitive dysfunction in early Parkinson's disease.
Klein JC. et al, (2018), NMR Biomed, 31
Apathy in rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder is common and under-recognized.
Barber TR. et al, (2018), Eur J Neurol, 25, 469 - e32
Exploring variability in basal ganglia connectivity with functional MRI in healthy aging.
Griffanti L. et al, (2018), Brain Imaging Behav
Cerebrospinal fluid macrophage biomarkers in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
Thompson AG. et al, (2018), Ann Neurol, 83, 258 - 268