Research Banner Thierry

About us

The Oxford Parkinson's Disease Centre (OPDC) is a unique multidisciplinary research centre at the University of Oxford supported by Parkinson’s UK with funds from The Monument Trust, one of the Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts.

Established in February 2010, the Oxford Parkinson’s Disease Centre (OPDC) brings together internationally-renowned scientists who work on the genetics of Parkinson’s, the generation of cell and animal models, and the wiring of brain circuits which control movement, with clinical experts in the diagnosis and treatment of Parkinson’s.

Our world-class research centre was formed to understand the earliest events in the development of Parkinson’s and create animal models with greater relevance to the disease, ultimately with a view to identifying the changes which occur before the symptoms become apparent.

Our programme targets the molecular pathways to Parkinson’s in order to:

  1. Understand the progression of Parkinson’s
  2. Predict the onset of Parkinson’s
  3. Identify potential drug targets for Parkinson’s
  4. Develop new treatments that will prevent the development of Parkinson’s in at-risk individuals.
  • Watch the video below to learn more about OPDC's research


Selected Publications

  • Roberts BM, Doig NM, Brimblecombe KR, Lopes EF, Siddorn RE, Threlfell S, Connor-Robson N, Bengoa-Vergniory N, Pasternack N,  Wade-Martins R, Magill PJ & Cragg SJGABA uptake transporters support dopamine release in dorsal striatum with maladaptive downregulation in a parkinsonism model. Nat Commun 11, 4958 (2020).

  • Bengoa-Vergniory N, Faggiani, Ramos-Gonzalez P, Kirkiz E, Connor-Robson N, Brown L, Siddique I, Li Z, Vingill S, Cioroch M, Cavaliere F, Threlfell S, Roberts B, Schrader T., Klärner F-G, Cragg S, Dehay B, Bitan G, Matute C, Bezard E, Wade-Martins R. CLR01 protects dopaminergic neurons in vitro and in mouse models of Parkinson’s disease. Nat Commun 11,  4885 (2020).

  • Hunn BHM, Vingill S, Threlfell S, Alegre-Abarrategui J, Magdelyns M, Deltheil T, Bengoa-Vergniory N, Oliver PL, Cioroch M, Doig NM, Bannerman DM, Cragg SJWade-Martins R. (2019). Impairment of Macroautophagy in Dopamine Neurons Has Opposing Effects on Parkinsonian Pathology and Behavior. Cell reports, 29(4), pp. 920-931.e7. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2019.09.029
  • Wallings R, Connor-Robson NWade-Martins R. (2019). LRRK2 interacts with the vacuolar-type H+-ATPase pump 
  • Zambon F, Cherubini M, Fernandes HJR, Lang C, Ryan BJ, Volpato V, Bengoa-Vergniory N, Vingill S, Attar M, Booth HDE, Haenseler W, Vowles J, Bowden R, Webber CCowley SAWade-Martins R. (2019). Cellular α-synuclein pathology is associated with bioenergetic dysfunction in Parkinson's iPSC-derived dopamine neurons. Human molecular genetics, 28(12), pp. 2001-2013. doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddz038
  • Condon MD, Platt NJ, Zhang YF, Roberts BM, Clements MA, Vietti-Michelina S, Tseu MY, Brimblecombe KRThrelfell S, Mann EO, Cragg SJ. (2019). Plasticity in striatal dopamine release is governed by release-independent depression and the dopamine transporter. Nature communications, 10(1), pp. 4263. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-12264-9
  • Hu MTM. (2019). From dreams to parkinsonism: tracking the journey. Brain : a journal of neurology, 142(7), pp. 1850-1852. doi: 10.1093/brain/awz155
  • Kelly MJ, Lawton MABaig F, Ruffmann C, Barber TRLo C, Klein JCBen-Shlomo YHu MT. (2019). Predictors of motor complications in early Parkinson's disease: A prospective cohort study. Movement disorders: official journal of the Movement Disorder Society, 34(8), pp. 1174-1183. doi: 10.1002/mds.27783
  • Lawton MBaig F, Toulson G, Morovat A, Evetts SGBen-Shlomo YHu MT. (2019). Blood biomarkers with Parkinson's disease clusters and prognosis: the oxford discovery cohort. Movement disorders : official journal of the Movement Disorder Society, doi: 10.1002/mds.27888
  • Lang C, Campbell KR, Ryan BJ, Carling P, Attar M, Vowles J, Perestenko OV, Bowden R, Baig F, Kasten M, Hu MT, Cowley SA, Webber C, Wade-Martins R. (2019) Single-Cell Sequencing of iPSC-Dopamine Neurons Reconstructs Disease Progression and Identifies HDAC4 as a Regulator of Parkinson Cell PhenotypesCell Stem Cell. 24(1):93-106.e6. PMID:30503143


Sites of early dysfunction in Parkinson's identified

Sites of early dysfunction in Parkinson's identified

Posted 02/10/2020

A new collaborative study from the Oxford Parkinson’s Disease Centre led by Professor Stephanie Cragg and Dr Bradley Roberts has revealed that GABA transporters on astrocytes, the brain's lesser known yet critically important cells, support dopamine release and are sites of early dysfunction in parkinsonism.  Read the full story on the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics's website ...

Tiny brain “tweezers” could hold the key to treat Parkinson’s

Tiny brain “tweezers” could hold the key to treat Parkinson’s

Posted 29/09/2020

  A collaborative study led by the OPDC's Dr Nora Bengoa-Vergniory has shown that compounds known as molecular tweezers could become a promising disease modifying therapy for Parkinson’s.   A team of researchers has shown that tiny compounds known as molecular “tweezers” could become a promising therapy to slow Parkinson’s. This new kind of drug works by pulling apart toxic clumps of protein that form in the brain during ...

OPDC's Dayne Beccano-Kelly appointed World Parkinson Coalition Science Ambassador

OPDC's Dayne Beccano-Kelly appointed World Parkinson Coalition Science Ambassador

Posted 22/09/2020

  OPDC Career Development Fellow Dr Dayne Beccano-Kelly has been selected by The World Parkinson Coalition (WPC) to be one of eight Science Ambassadors in the two years leading up to the 6th World Parkinson Congress in June 2022. The WPC Ambassadors will be promoting a premiere Parkinson’s learning experience for scientists, working to bring the Parkinson's community together to advance both the clinical and research goals of discovering new ...

Click here to sign up to the OPDC News Mailing list


Dr Wilma van de Berg 26_01_21

Dr Wilma van de Berg 26_01_21

Posted 24/11/2020

    'Tales from the human brain: a multi-scale approach to elucidate pathogenic mechanisms involved in Parkinson’s' Tuesday 26 January, 2021 at 2pm.    This seminar will be held online. Please email for more details. Dr Wilma van de Berg is senior neuroscientist, associate professor and lecturer in clinical neuroanatomy, neuropathology and clinical neurosciences at the dept. Anatomy and Neurosciences, ...