We are very happy to welcome research scientist, Dr Andy Howden, as a new member of our Steering Group, read more about Andy's background and the experience he will be bringing to the group:
I’m a research scientist based in the Division of Cell Signalling and Immunology in the School of Life Sciences at the University of Dundee. I’m interested in the links between our immune system and neurodegenerative disease.
The immune system is critical in protecting our bodies from bacterial, viral and fungal infection. However, it is now becoming clear that the immune system may also play a part in Parkinson’s disease. I want to understand whether Parkinson’s could be caused by our immune system behaving abnormally. One theory is that the immune system can become over-activated leading to damage to the brain. However, there is much still to learn and many important questions that we need to answer.
In 2014 my father died after battling Parkinson’s for 2 decades. Watching the impact that this disease had on him and the family has motivated me to try and improve our understanding of what causes Parkinson’s and how we might develop new treatments to slow and stop the disease.