When he joined The University of British Columbia (UBC) in 2010 as Canada Excellence Research Chair (CERC) in Neurogenetics and Translational Neuroscience, Dr. Matthew Farrer arrived with the reputation of having made some of the most significant contributions to Parkinson’s disease research over the previous decade.
Since taking up his position at UBC, Farrer and his team have continued to make remarkable progress in the fight against the disease. Among his discoveries have been several genes for late-onset (or “typical”) Parkinson’s disease, the most important of which are called VPS35 p.D620N and RME-8 p.N855S. Farrer has also successfully developed “knock-in” mouse models for both genes. This means he can recreate the disease in a mouse by inserting these genes into a specific, targeted place in its genome.