OPDC celebrate winning £6M from Parkinson’s UK


OPDC is celebrating today after Parkinson’s UK awarded £6M to our cutting-edge research programme - allowing our search for a cure for Parkinson’s to continue.

By 2020 we hope to use the £6M from Parkinson's UK to find new drugs to slow, or even stop Parkinson’s, using a ‘brain cell bank’ we have developed to identify promising new drug targets. We also want to improve how to diagnose and monitor Parkinson’s using cutting edge technology like smartphone apps.

This new funding builds on an initial £5M investment from Parkinson’s UK to our researchers OPDC in 2010.

In the last five years we have developed one of the largest studies of people living with Parkinson’s anywhere in the world, leading to progress in understanding why brain cells die and in detecting early changes in patients before full symptoms occur. Working with Thames Valley patients we have created a tool to detect early stage Parkinson's with 85% accuracy using brain imaging.

Richard Wade-Martins

"In the last five years we’ve made remarkable progress. We’ve built a study integrating work in the clinic and the laboratory like nowhere else in the world. Alongside this, our program to change cells from patients’ skin into brain cells using cutting-edge stem cell technology has allowed us to gain completely new insights about Parkinson’s and how it develops.

“We’re delighted the new funding from Parkinson’s UK will secure the future of this and other vital projects.”

OPDC lead researcher, Richard-Wade Martins


“When you’re first diagnosed with Parkinson’s it’s a dreadful moment. You’re frightened, you can’t really believe it’s happening. Having some of the world’s best medical minds researching my condition on my doorstep is a real comfort, and being able to be a part of it is a great feeling.”

OPDC Participant, Lucy Norman, 42 from Barford St Michael

Arthur Roach

“Oxford is one of a few special places where all of the different strands of Parkinson’s research weave together - researchers in the lab are working side by side with doctors who see Parkinson’s every day in the clinic. We believe it’s the meeting of minds in this exciting environment that’s most likely to produce the breakthrough we need to find a cure.”

Dr Arthur Roach, Parkinson’s UK Director of Research and Development

Funds to support the OPDC came to Parkinson’s UK from The Monument Trust, one of the Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts.


Oxford Mail


Read about our new funding in the Oxford Mail (6th March 2015)

BBC News March 6  2015
BBC South Today (6 March 2015)
Meridian News March 6  2015
ITV Meridian News (6 March 2015)