Prof Jochen Prehn coordinates PD-MitoQUANT

PD-MitoQUANT is a new Innovative Medicines Initiative research project that will improve our understanding of Parkinson’s so that better treatments can be developed in the future. The project, which is coordinated by Prof Jochen Prehn at RCSI, will run for 3 years and receives funding from the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme, the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) members and Parkinson’s UK.

PD-MitoQUANT focuses on how mitochondria, the ‘powerhouses’ of the cell, contribute to cell death and neurodegeneration when they malfunction. There is growing evidence that mitochondrial dysfunction is involved in Parkinson’s but no effective treatments have been developed based on this knowledge. PD-MitoQUANT will deepen our understanding of precisely how mitochondria malfunction in Parkinson’s, and develop improved tools for the early stages of drug development so that pharmaceutical companies can develop better treatments in the future.

The key PD-MitoQUANT Investigators based at RCSI are Dr Niamh Connolly and Dr Orla Watters. They will conduct interdisciplinary research involving fluorescence imaging of mitochondria, network analyses of transcriptomic and proteomic data, and systems/statistical modelling. Niamh notes, “While there are therapies currently available for Parkinson’s, they do not improve all symptoms, nor do they slow or prevent disease progression over time. With this collaborative, multi-disciplinary project we will develop a more comprehensive understanding of mitochondrial dysfunction in brain cells affected by Parkinson’s which in turn will lead to improved tools and targets for the early stages of drug development.”

“This project has received funding from the Innovative Medicines Initiative 2 Joint Undertaking under grant agreement No 821522. This Joint Undertaking receives support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and EFPIA and Parkinson’s UK. The material presented and views expressed here reflect the author’s view and neither IMI nor the European Union, EFPIA, or any Associated Partners are responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained herein.”

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