Chris Elliott

Chris Elliott

Dr

Former affiliations

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

The most common genetic cause of Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a mutation in the LRRK2 gene, G2019S. We have developed a new fly model, which exploits the homology of between fly and human. The proboscis extension response (PER) shows a marked decline in performance with G2019S expression, but not with other mutations in LRRK2. This loss of function is most marked when G2019S is expressed in the dopaminergic neurons. It can be rescued by drug application. We will use the extensive fly genetic toolbox to test the function of G2019S as a dominant negative kinase mutation, and to screen candidate genes which slow degeneration. We will support this by using drug application (L-DOPA, kinase inhibitors, glycolytic upregulation). This will provide a new view of LRRK2 neurophysiology in the whole organism, in a way that has not been possible in mouse models.

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Personal profile

Research interests

I began life working on locusts, crickets, cockroaches... all sort of insects fascinate me. Then I spent 15 years studying how snails use chemicals called amines to control what they eat. Over the last 10 years, I have focussed on the role of amines in fruit flies, developing new techniques to find out how they work, and how the manipulation of dopamine and Parkinson's related genes affects them. Most recently, my lab has been testing novel drugs related to Parkinson's, to see how they can prevent or slow the progression of the degeneration of the CNS. In my spare time I love birdwatching. I take services in the Church of England sometimes.

 

My Blog: http://lrrkingabout.blogspot.co.uk

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