How are nerve cells influenced by immune cells ? This was a central question addressed recently at a neuroimmunology workshop held at the School of Life Sciences in Dundee.



Hannah Tovell an Alessi lab PhD student working closely with the Ciulli lab has published an improved HaloPROTAC method to induce post–translational knockdown of endogenous proteins. 

This approach makes use of CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing technology to introduce a Halo tag onto the N or C terminus of any desired target protein that can then be targeted for degradation by a HaloPROTAC probe (see Figure). 


The 2nd Dundee Edinburgh Parkinson’s Research Initiative Public Event organized by Dr Esther Sammler at the Royal College of Physicians in Edinburgh on March 22, 2019 was a great success.


Highlight of the Public Event was the panel discussion hosted and chaired by John Minhinick, Fife Branch of Parkinson’s UK and committee member of the Dundee Parkinson's Research Interest Group, on eight themes important to people affected by Parkinson’s disease:

1. Why did I get Parkinson’s?


The 2nd Dundee-Edinburgh Parkinson’s Research Initiative Symposium at the Royal College of Physicians in Edinburgh on March 22, 2019 was a great success. Organized by Dr Esther Sammler, the event attracted over 90 attendees and a line-up of 15 speakers who gave us a taste of the diverse and rich landscape of basic and clinical Parkinson’s disease research in Scotland. …more

Professor Sir Philip Cohen is recently returned from a 10-day visit to India where, as a guest of the British Council, he gave 6 lectures to audiences in Kolkata, Guwahati, and Mumbai. During his free weekend, Philip took a 5-hour taxi ride from Guwahati - in the State of Assam, in North East India - passing many famous tea plantations (called tea gardens in Assam) to the Kaziranga National Park, where he went on safari by elephant at dawn. The elephant driver is carrying a rifle in case of attack by tigers, or charging rhino or water buffalo. 

This was Philip's second ride on an elephant, the first having been at London Zoo, 61 years ago. 


On January 18, 2018 the MRC PPU opened its doors for a visit for people affected by Parkinson’s, organised by the Dundee Research Interest Group (DRIG).  Over 25 people spent the afternoon not only talking to MRC PPU Director Professor Dario Alessi and the many researchers working to unravel the mechanisms that cause Parkinson’s, but also going on a tour of the Centre for Translational and Interdisciplinary Research (CTIR) Mass Spectrometry facility, an immunofluorescent microscopy demonstration, and having other scientists explain their work at the bench. …more

Last night MRC PPU Programme Leader and Wellcome Senior Clinical Fellow, Miratul Muqit, delivered the Francis Crick Lecture at the Royal Society in front of a packed audience comprising scientists and members of the public including Parkinson’s patients.


Congratulations to MRC PPU Postdocs Giulia Saredi (Rouse lab) and Lea Wilhelm (Ganley lab) for being awarded prestigious EMBO long-term Fellowships


Calum Sutherland, a PhD student in Philip Cohen’s lab from 1993 to 1996, has been promoted to Professor of Molecular Medicine in the School of Medicine, University of Dundee.  Calum graduated with a B.Sc. in Biochemistry from the University of St Andrews in 1985, and then spent five years working with pharmaceutical company Glaxo in London before joining Philip’s lab in 1991 where he made seminal contributions to our understanding of how insulin inhibits the protein kinase GSK3 to stimulate glycogen synthesis. …more

Mutations in genes encoding PINK1 (PTEN-induced kinase 1) and the ubiquitin E3 ligase Parkin are associated with early-onset Parkinson’s disease. Several years ago the laboratory of Miratul Muqit discovered that upon mitochondrial damage, PINK1 can phosphorylate Parkin at a highly conserved residue, Serine 65 (Ser65), that lies within its N-terminal Ubiquitin-like domain (Ubl). Further, it was discovered that PINK1 can phosphorylate Ubiquitin at an equivalent Ser65 residue and this associates with Parkin in a complex to trigger maximal activation of Parkin E3 ligase activity. …more