Scientific Advisors

Professor Peter St. George Hyslop, M.D., F.R.S., F.R.S.C., F.R.C.P.C.

Wellcome Trust Principal Research Fellow, Director for Tanz Centre for Research in Neurodegenerative Diseases at University of Toronto, Director of Cambridge Dementia Biomedical Research Unit, University of Cambridge

Professor St. George-Hyslop's research focuses upon understanding the causes and molecular mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer disease, Parkinson disease and fronto-temporal dementia. His research team employ genetic, molecular biological, cell biological, and animal modelling strategies to: 1) identify disease-causing genes; and 2) identify the molecular pathways by which these mutations or polymorphisms lead to neuronal death.

Educated at Wellington School, Wellington, Somerset, UK, Professor St. George-Hyslop completed his medical training in Canada, graduating with an M.D. in 1976 and then pursuing post-doctoral research in internal medicine and neurology at the University of Toronto and Harvard Medical School. He served his first appointment at Harvard's Massachusetts General Hospital, where he taught molecular genetics and neurology from 1987 to 1991. He was appointed to the University of Toronto in 1991 and since 2003, has held the university's highest rank of University Professor. Since 1995, he has served as the director of the Tanz Centre for Research in Neurodegenerative Diseases at the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine. In 2007, Professor St. George-Hyslop was appointed Professor of Experimental Neuroscience at the University of Cambridge.

Professor St. George-Hyslop was awarded the Howard Hughes Medical Institute International Scholar Award in 1997 and 2002, the Gold Medal in Medicine from the Royal College of Physicians of Canada in 1994 and the Michael Smith Award from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research in 1997. He is a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation, a fellow of the Royal Society of London and the Royal Society of Canada, and a Foreign Member to the National Academy of Medicine of the US National Academies of Science.

Professor Franklin Aigbirhio

Director of Wolfson Brain Imaging Centre, University of Cambridge

Professor Franklin Aigbirhio’s research includes the development and application of molecular imaging probes, in particular for the in vivo imaging technique of positron emission tomography. Mr. Aighbirhio’s current research objectives are to design, develop and apply imaging probes that are specific and selective to biological markers and are sensitive to biochemical changes associated with disease mechanisms. In addition, Mr. Aigbirhio researches novel radiosynthetic methods with an objective of 1) developing rapid and efficient methods for the regular preparation of radiopharmaceuticals and 2) facilitating the discovery of new chemical entities for imaging.

Professor Jean-Christophe (Chris) Rochet

Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacology, Purdue University

Professor Jen-Christophe Rochet holds his Ph.D. from the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Alberta (Edmonton, Canada, where his thesis research focused on the catalytic mechanism and folding properties of the mitochondrial enzyme CoA transferase. From 1999-2002, Dr. Rochet worked as a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Peter Lansbury in the Department of Neurology at Harvard Medical School. His postdoctoral research (supported by fellowships from the Human Frontier Science Program Organization and the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research) focused on the role of alpha-synuclein self-assembly in Parkinson’s disease. In the fall of 2002, he joined the Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at Purdue University, where he is now an associate professor. The overall goals of his research program are to understand mechanisms of neurotoxicity and neuroprotection in Parkinson’s disease by characterizing Parkinson’s disease-related gene products (e.g. alpha-synuclein, DJ-1), and to use this information to develop new therapeutic strategies. Dr. Rochet’s honors include a New Investigator Award from the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, a Melvin Yahr Fellowship from the International Federation of Parkinson’s disease and a PhRMA Foundation Sabbatical Fellowship in Pharmacology and Toxicology.

Adjunct Professor Lisa McConlogue

University of California, San Francisco, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Gladstone Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases

Professor Lisa McConlogue is a research scientist with considerable pharmaceutical discovery and translational research experience including significant scientific discoveries, project management, strategic leadership, and external industrial and academic partnerships. Ms. McConlogue has over 20 years of experience in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry, focused on identifying novel therapeutic approaches for neurodegenerative diseases characterized by protein misfolding, such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease, and is a recognized expert with broad understanding of both drug discovery and basic research. She has developed key animal models, identified and validated therapeutic targets and developed therapeutic lead molecules to the point of preclinical development, as well as demonstrated ability to integrate basic science and translational research, drive novel efforts, and lead inter-institutional and multi-departmental collaborations. Ms. McConlogue has led large discovery programs coordinating input from cross-functional specialists including joint Elan-University of Cambridge institute, was principal scientist at Elan Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Perrigo for USD 8.6bn) and holds a Ph.D. from UCLA.

Manuel J. Buttini, PhD

Senior Scientist, and Head Neuropathology Core Unit, Luxembourg Institute for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB), University of Luxembourg

Dr. Buttini has over two decades of experience in in vivo modeling of Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease, which he gained by working in academia as well in pharma industry environments, both in Europe and the United States. He has generated and characterized a number of novel models, and has an extensive publication record in this space.  During his tenure at Elan Pharmaceuticals, he conducted efficacy studies relating to the Alzheimer and Parkinson’s immunization programs, and oversaw due diligence studies for external licensing opportunities that led to critcocal go/no go decisions. His main research interests are the investigation of pathological pathways, and the identifctaion of novel target or biomarker candidates for both Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Currently, he regularly acts as consultant for biotech companies in Europe and the US, and  runs a research group as well as a Neuropathology Core Unit at the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine.