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Van Andel Institute (VAI) invites you to join us for the first event in our Public Lecture Series: A Focus on Parkinson’s Disease on Dec. 13, 2018. This informative event will feature presentations and a Q&A session with Van Andel Research Institute (VARI) scientists who are focused on the development of new treatments that slow or stop the progression of Parkinson’s.
In October, VARI scientists published a groundbreaking study describing the appendix as a potential starting point for Parkinson’s. These findings hold new clues to Parkinson’s earliest stages, how it progresses, and how it might be stopped using new, targeted therapies. For the more than 60,000 people in the United States who will be diagnosed with Parkinson’s this year, and the seven to 10 million people worldwide who have Parkinson’s, this study could be game changing.
Guests will have the unique opportunity to learn firsthand about the research that led to this important discovery, and learn about recent advancements in Parkinson’s disease research.
For more information on VAI’s Parkinson’s research, click here.
This event is FREE and open to the public, and guests will receive a free boxed lunch with registration.
Complimentary valet parking will be available at the main entrance of VAI.
Dr. Labrie is an assistant professor in the Institute’s Center for Neurodegenerative Science. She studies the dynamic interplay between the human genome and its control system – the epigenome – to understand how neurodegenerative diseases start and progress in an effort to develop improved diagnostics and treatments. Labrie is the senior author on a recently published study that solidifies the role of the gut and immune system in the genesis of Parkinson’s, and reveals that the appendix acts as a major reservoir for abnormally folded alpha-synuclein proteins, which are closely linked to Parkinson’s onset and progression.
Dr. Brundin serves as Van Andel Research Institute’s associate director and the director of the Institute’s Center for Neurodegenerative Science. He investigates molecular mechanisms in Parkinson’s disease, and his goals are to develop new therapies aimed at slowing or stopping disease progression or repairing damage. He is one of the top-cited researchers in the field of neurodegenerative disease and leads international efforts to repurpose drugs to treat Parkinson’s.
Dr. Wouter Peelaerts is an experienced neuroscientist with special expertise in degenerative brain diseases. He earned his Ph.D. in biomedical sciences from KU Leuven and subsequently completed a postdoctoral fellowship there focused on neurobiology and gene therapy under the mentorship of Prof. Veerle Baekelandt. His efforts helped uncover new insights that further link the abnormal protein alpha-synuclein to neurodegenerative diseases, in particular Parkinson’s and multiple system atrophy. He has received numerous accolades for his scholarship, including a prestigious 2017–2018 Fulbright Fellowship and the ATCG and Integrated DNA Technologies postdoctoral award. In 2017, he joined the lab of Dr. Patrik Brundin at Van Andel Research Institute.