Clues to Parkinson’s disease mechanisms from the types and patterns of cellular pathologies in the brain

Professor Glenda Halliday, Professor of Neuroscience, NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellow,  University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW

Many believe that the assessment of post-mortem brain tissue from people with neurodegenerative conditions cannot be informative on the mechanisms underpinning neurodegenerative conditions. However, observational studies similar to those planned for animal models can be achieved with such tissue, and recent data show that these observations drive new concepts of pathogenesis. In this talk I will go through data for Parkinson’s disease to highlight key observations on the timing of the pathologies that underpin this disease and why Parkinson’s disease differs from other disease with similar protein abnormalities.

Professor Halliday is a career neuroscientist specialising in neurodegeneration. She has been a Fellow of the National Health & Medical Research Council of Australia (NHMRC) since 1990, and is Professor of Neuroscience and an NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellow at the University of Sydney. She has played a major role in shaping the international standards for neuropathological diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases, particularly Lewy body diseases and frontotemporal dementias. Her research has also served as an evidence base for changes in the clinical diagnosis of these patients. Her contributions have been recognised through the following and other awards;2016 Cozzarelli Prize for outstanding 2015 paper, National Academy of Sciences, USA; 2014 Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health & Medical Sciences; 2014 NHMRC Elizabeth Blackburn Clinical Fellowship; 2013 NHMRC high achiever in Australian Health & Medical Research; 2011 Nina Kondelos Prize for outstanding neuroscience, Australian Neuroscience Society