Matt Farrer

Professor Farrer holds a Canada Excellence Research Chair in Medical Genetics position at UBC and has contributed many peer-reviewed publications on the LRRK2 gene. His team made several original discoveries relating to the gene, including pathogenic mutations genetically linked with Parkinson’s disease. His group reported the genetic linkage, penetrance and a common founder for LRRK2 G2019S, and postulated increased kinase activity as the underlying mechanism responsible for disease. Current research interests include population genetic analysis of LRRK2 variants, generation of highly specific LRRK2 antibodies and protein biochemistry, cell-based drug screening assays and informative pre-clinical models. Since cloning the gene, his team has provided the plasmid to >50 laboratories, without restriction, and BAC LRRK2 human wild-type and mutant transgenic pre-clinical models and/or tissue to many teams. Professor Farrer is currently involved in natural history, genetic and biomarker studies of LRRK2 patients, including neuroimaging, to perform future clinical trials.