Professor Roger Barker
Parkinson's and Huntington's disease
Laboratory: John van Geest Centre for Brain Repair, Cambridge Biomedical Campus
Departmental Affiliation: Clinical Neurosciences
Roger Barker is the Professor of Clinical Neuroscience and Honorary Consultant in Neurology at the University of Cambridge and at Addenbrooke's Hospital. He trained at Oxford and London and has been in his current position since 2000, after completing a MRC Clinician Scientist Fellowship.
Roger combines basic research looking at novel therapies to treat chronic neurodegenerative disorders of the brain with clinically-based work aimed at better defining such disorders. He is the co-ordinator of the FP7 TRANSEURO project looking at fetal cell grafting in patients with early Parkinson's Disease.
• BA, Oxford University, 1983
• MBBS, University of London, 1986
• MRCP (London) 1989
• PhD, University of Cambridge, 1994
Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, British Council, GSK, Parkinson's UK, MRC, BBSRC, EU-FP7, NIHR, Butterfield Trust, Jacques and Gloria Gossweiler Foundation
Dopaminergic neurons differentiated from embryonic stem cells using a clinical grade protocol and reagents—TH (green), Btub (red)
Our main interests are in the common, chronic neurodegenerative disorders of the nervous system in particular Parkinson's disease (PD) and Huntington's disease (HD).
We are interested in better understanding how these diseases develop and then how they change over time with the idea of better classifying patients into different subtypes of disease. These subtypes can then be used to test new therapies as some types of these diseases may be better suited for one type of experimental treatment whilst others may not: e.g. dopamine cell therapies from stem cells treatment may be better suited to younger PD patients with a more benign clinical course.
In addition this ability to stratify patients also enables us to undertake studies looking at how these disease subtypes may arise using cells grown from the patients themselves. Typically we harvest these cells from the skin and then turn them into nerve cells in the lab, and by so doing we hope that we can recapitulate what goes wrong in the brain nerve cells in such patients.
Nina Antouli, Nick Blair, Marta Camacho, Lucy Collins, Danielle Daft, Mercy Danga, Natalie V. Guzman, Xiaoling He, Wei-Li Kuan, Sarah Mason, Stine Myklebust, Venkat Pisupati, Kirsten Scott, Tom Stoker, Simon Stott, Pam Tyers, Romina Vuono, Ruwani Wijeyekoon, Lindsey Wilkin, Caroline Williams Gray.
Our research primarily focuses on neurodegenerative disorders of the brain such as Parkinson’s disease (PD) and Huntington’s disease (HD). We have sought to better define the true extent of clinical deficits in these disorders, with the aim of building a more complete model of disease heterogeneity and its basis which will then serve to inform the translation of stem cell therapies to clinics by targeting the right sub-group of patients at the optimal stage of disease.
La Manno G, Gyllborg D, Codeluppi S, Nishimura K, Salto C, Zeisel A, Borm LE, Stott SR, Toledo EM, Villaescusa JC, Lönnerberg P, Ryge J, Barker RA, Arenas E, Linnarsson S. Molecular Diversity of Midbrain Development in Mouse, Human, and Stem Cells. Cell. 2016 Oct 6;167(2):566-580 PMCID: PMC5055122
Nombela C, Rowe JB, Winder-Rhodes SE, Hampshire A, Owen AM, Breen DP, Duncan GW, Khoo TK, Yarnall AJ, Firbank MJ, Chinnery PF, Robbins TW, O'Brien JT, Brooks DJ, Burn DJ; the ICICLE-PD study group, Barker RA (2014). Genetic impact on cognition and brain function in newly diagnosed Parkinson's disease: ICICLE-PD study. Brain.137:2743-58. PMCID:PMC4163033
- Barker RA, Mason SL, Harrower TP, Swain RA, Ho AK, Sahakian BJ, Mathur R, Elneil S, Thornton S, Hurrelbrink C, Armstrong RJ, Tyers P, Smith E, Carpenter A, Piccini P, Tai YF, Brooks DJ, Pavese N, Watts C, Pickard JD, Rosser AE, Dunnett SB; the NEST-UK collaboration (2013). The long-term safety and efficacy of bilateral transplantation of human fetal striatal tissue in patients with mild to moderate Huntington's disease. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 84:657-65. PMCID:PMC3646287
- Clelland CD, Choi M, Romberg C, Clemenson GD Jr, Fragniere A, Tyers P, Jessberger S, Saksida LM, Gage FH*, Bussey TJ*, Barker RA*(2009). A functional role for adult hippocampal neurogenesis in spatial pattern separation. Science 325; 210-213. [*joint senior authors]. PMCID:PMC2997634
- Williams-Gray CH, Evans JR, Goris A, Foltynie T, Ban M, Robbins TW, Brayne C, Kolachana BS, Weinberger DR, Sawcer SJ, Barker RA (2009). The distinct cognitive syndromes of Parkinson's disease: 5 year follow-up of the CamPaIGN cohort. Brain 132; 2958-69. PMID:19812213