On Tuesday 2 March, Edward Robinson will defend his PhD thesis.
|Date||2 March 2021|
In this thesis we investigated survival and cell death of dopaminergic neurons in the framework of Parkinson’s disease (PD). PD is one of the most prevalent neurodegenerative disorders characterized by loss of dopamine neurons of the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc). Attenuating this loss of dopamine neurons would be extremely beneficial for PD patients. Therefore, it is key to understand how dopaminergic neurons develop and why they degenerate both during development and adulthood, as they might share a common machinery. As the intrinsic mitochondrial-dependent pathway of apoptosis has been implied to underlie cell death in PD, we initially focused on the orchestrators of this pathway: the Bcl2 protein family. We aimed to identify the weak link in this family both during development and adulthood, identify its regulation and potentially strengthening this protein to enhance the survival rate of dopaminergic neurons.