Analysing clinical trends for cell & gene therapy in neurodegenerative diseases
Cell & Gene Therapy Insights 2020; 6(1), 9–15.
Published: 3 February 2020
Roger Barker is the Professor of Clinical Neuroscience at the University of Cambridge and Consultant Neurologist at the Addenbrooke’s Hospital Cambridge. He is a PI in the Wellcome – MRC Cambridge Stem Cell Institute and Director of the MRC funded UK Regenerative medicine hub working on Pluripotent Stem and Engineered cells. He trained at Oxford University and St Thomas Hospital Medical school and after completing his medical training took up an MRC Clinician Scientist Fellowship. For the last 25 years he has run research that seeks to better define the clinical heterogeneity of two common neurodegenerative disorders of the CNS- namely Parkinson’s (PD) and Huntington’s disease (HD). This has helped him define the best way by which to take new therapies into the clinic. In this respect he has been heavily involved in gene and cell based trials for patients with these conditions and currently co-ordinates an EU funded transplant programme using human fetal tissue for patients with PD, following on from an earlier MRC funded trial using similar tissue in HD. He is part of a new EU project (STEM-PD) and a global initiative (GFORCE-PD) that is seeking to take stem cells to trial in these disorders. He is currently is Co-Editor in Chief of the Journal of Neurology and sits on the editorial board of many other journals. He is on the research advisory board of the Cure PD Trust and Parkinson’s UK. In 2015 he was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences.