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- Professor of Molecular Neuroscience
Richard graduated from Cambridge in Natural Sciences taking Part II Genetics in 1995. He then moved to the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics in Oxford for a DPhil followed by a Wellcome Trust Fellowship. In 2000 Richard moved to Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School as a Wellcome Trust Travelling Research Fellow. He returned to Oxford and in 2004 was awarded a Wellcome Trust Research Career Development Fellowship and started his own group. In 2007 Richard moved to the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, University of Oxford, as a University Lecturer. Richard gained tenure in his faculty position in the University of Oxford in 2013, was appointed an Associate Professor in 2014 and Professor in 2015.
Richard’s research is focused on better understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. His work combines studies on human post-mortem brain tissue, the generation and analysis of novel transgenic and knockout mouse models, and the development of improved induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell-derived dopaminergic neuronal culture models. His work focuses on the study of the functional and genetic mechanisms underlying key neurodegeneration disease loci, such as alpha-synuclein (SNCA), microtubule associated protein tau (MAPT) and leucine rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2).
Richard heads the Molecular Neurodegeneration Research Laboratory and has, since its launch in 2010, headed the Oxford Parkinson’s Disease Centre, a new multi-disciplinary research initiative supported by the Monument Discovery Award from Parkinson’s UK originally funded 2010-2015 and now refunded through to 2020. He leads the "Neurodegenerative and Neurodysfunctional Diseases" Work Package in StemBANCC, a large €50M EU IMI Program using stem cells for drug discovery, and heads the iPSC Dementia Stem Cell Initiative in the UK Dementia Platform.
Richard currently serves on the Research Strategy Board for Parkinson's UK and ad hoc reviewer panels for the NIH, was the previous the Co-ordinator for the Alzheimer's Research UK Thames Valley Network Centre and has served on the Scientific Advisory Board for Alzheimer's Research UK and the Grants Working Group for CIRM, the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine.