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BNA 2023 | Studying mitophagy in Parkinson’s disease with induced dopaminergic neurons

Francesco Capriglia, PhD, from the University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK discusses his research into the roles of autophagy and mitophagy in Parkinson’s disease (PD) using patient fibroblast-derived dopaminergic neurons. Mitophagy is thought to be critical component of PD pathogenesis and is associated with accelerated neurodegeneration. Abnormalities in LRRK-2 and alpha-synuclein are implicated in the impaired mitophagy seen in PD. Dr Capriglia and his team aim to test the effects of small molecules or genetic manipulation on restoring these functions. His research involves reprogramming patient-derived fibroblasts into induced neural progenitor cells harbouring the LRRK2 G2019S mutation and subsequently differentiating them into neurons. In this way, neurons retain key characteristics associated with aging, making them valuable for studying the pathological features of Parkinson’s disease. This interview took place at The BNA 2023 International Festival of Neuroscience in Brighton, UK.

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