Prof Dario Alessi

Dario received his BSc in Biochemistry from the University of Birmingham in 1988 and obtained a Ph.D. in 1991 for his work on the synthesis and use of spin-labelled ATP analogues to study muscle contraction under the joint supervision of Ian Trayer (University of Birmingham) and David Trentham FRS (National Institute of Medical Research, Mill Hill, London).  He then carried out postdoctoral research with Philip Cohen in the MRC PPU from 1991 to 1997, where he became fascinated by protein kinases and how they control almost all aspects of cell biology.

In 1998 Dario became a Programme Leader in the MRC PPU, and assumed the Directorship of the Unit in April 2012.  Dario has received many awards and honours, including the Colworth Medal in 1999 (Biochemical Society), membership of EMBO (2005), the EMBO Gold Medal (2005), and fellowship of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (2002), the Royal Society of London (2008), and the Medical Academy of Science (2012).

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Dr Miratul Muqit

Miratul graduated in Medicine with Honours from the University of Edinburgh in 1997. He was awarded a prestigious Kennedy Scholarship to study Neurobiology at Harvard University undertaking Huntington’s disease research in Mel Feany’s laboratory in 2001. He obtained his PhD in 2007 from the UCL Institute of Neurology where he made a major contribution to the discovery of PINK1 kinase mutations in Parkinson’s disease under the supervision of Nicholas Wood FMedSci and David Latchman. In parallel he received clinical training at leading London teaching hospitals including the Hammersmith Hospital and the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery at Queen Square. He specialized in Movement Disorders under Andrew Lees FMedSci and Kailash Bhatia.

Miratul joined the MRC PPU as a Wellcome Trust Intermediate Clinical Fellow (Sponsor: Dario Alessi FRS) in 2008 to investigate how PINK1 mutations lead to neurodegeneration in Parkinson’s. He has been a Wellcome Trust Senior Clinical Fellow since 2013. Miratul has received multiple awards including the Queen Square Prize in Neurology (2006) and the Linacre Prize Lecture from the Royal College of Physicians (2013). He became a member of the EMBO Young Investigator Programme in 2017.

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Dr Esther Sammler

I am a clinician scientist with an interest in neurodegenerative conditions and how to accelerate the application of scientific basic research discoveries towards identifying biomarkers and hopefully treatments. After graduating from medical school and working in Germany, I entered the Scottish neurology training programme in 2009. In 2014, I obtained my PhD as a Wellcome Trust fellow supervised by Professor Dario Alessi FRS FRSE on the “Signalling pathway of the E3 ubiquitin ligase subunit FBXO7 and its role in hereditary Parkinsonism”. I was appointed consultant neurologist in NHS Tayside in 2016. My interest is in neurogenetics and Parkinson’s disease. For my research I continue to work in the MRC Protein Phosphorylation Unit.

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