Pictured: researcher Vindy Tjendana Tjhin
At Warwick, we're looking at the role of iron in the pathology of Parkinson’s disease - a progressive neurological condition which causes problems in the brain and gets worse over time.
One person in every 500 has Parkinson's, or about 127,000 people in the UK. Patients are usually aged 50 or over. They suffer from tremors and find it difficult to walk and move, often experience anxiety and depression, and develop dementia as they age. There is no known cure, and therapies and treatments vary in their effectiveness.
For the past three years, your donations have helped to support a PhD studentship for Vindy Tjendana Tjhin to work with Dr Joanna Collingwood’s group in the School of Engineering. Dr Collingwood explains the impact of Vindy's work:
Vindy has developed a model of iron regulation in the human brain and is looking at ways to simulate the introduction of iron modifying drugs (‘chelators’) to manage or even reverse the toxicity associated with disrupted iron regulation in the brain.
She’s mapping dopamine-producing cells, which are especially vulnerable in Parkinson’s disease, and helping us to predict short and long term impact of changing iron levels. She’s also actively taking part in teaching, mentoring, and collaborating on other research projects beyond the central theme of her PhD.
Thank you for helping Vindy to work as part of an international collaboration in a cross-disciplinary field and at a leading institution. Vindy has great potential to deliver impact through this project in the longer term, and this funding helped us to secure even more matched-funding and help her focus solely on research rather than having to take up extra part-time jobs.”
Vindy (pictured above) says:
During my PhD, I had the chance to attend the International Congress of Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders, and the Congress of the International BioIron Society. I learned more about other groups’ research and how to integrate it into my project. I also met patients with movement disorders at one of the conferences. It opened my eyes to how the disorder affects people’s lives and assured me that I am working for the right cause.”