University of Sheffield

university of sheffieldMRC Centre for Developmental and Biomedical Genetics at the University of Sheffield, represented by Dr. Oliver Bandmann

The University of Sheffield was just chosen as the “2011 Times Higher Education UK University of the Year.” The local hospital, the Royal Hallamshire Hospital, was selected again as the “2011 Trust of the Year.” These awards reflect the high standards and reputation of Sheffield among regional UK universities. The internationally renowned MRC Centre for Developmental and Biomedical Genetics (CDBG) brings together developmental geneticists with clinical scientists, creating a focus of expertise in the development of animal models of human disease with the aim of stimulating the translation of findings from model systems to the development of novel therapies and clinical practice. One of the studied model organisms is the zebrafish. It is used to identify the genes and pathways that underlie a broad range of human diseases, including neurodegeneration. The MRC Centre’s Screening Unit undertakes in vivo compound screens in zebrafish, a very cost-effective approach to evaluate the desired activity of potential therapeutics.

Dr.Oliver Bandmann is PI at the Centre of Developmental and Biomedical Genetics (CDBG) and a Reader in Neurology/Honorary Consultant Neurologist, Academic Neurology Unit, Department of Neuroscience, Sheffield Institute of Translational Neuroscience. He is a clinician who works with PD patients and a PI whose research is focused on zebrafish models of Parkinson’s disease and related disorders. He has two closely interacting groups. His zebrafish group is based at CDBG. His cell culture group is located at the newly opened, excellently equipped Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience (SITraN). SITraN is entirely focused on identifying disease-modifying therapies for neurodegenerative disorders in an academic setting. Dr. Bandmann’s research is focused on different aspects of basal ganglia disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and Wilson’s disease. The main goal of his research is the establishment of new in vivo and in vitro model systems for neurodegenerative disorders and the use of these model systems to screen compounds for their neuroprotective effects in an academic setting. His zebrafish group established the first zebrafish model of Parkinson’s disease worldwide (Bretaud et al., 2007). His cell culture group was the first to undertake a detailed analysis of mitochondrial function in fibroblasts from both early-onset and late-onset Parkinson’s disease (Mortiboys et al., 2008; Mortiboys et al., 2010).

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