On October 13, 2020, Dr. Cecilia Lindestam Arlehamn and Dr. Alessandro Sette shared their latest research progress on the role of the immune system in Parkinson’s Disease and COVID-19, as well as, a possible unexpected link between the two diseases. Dr. Arlehamn discovered that autoimmunity plays a role in Parkinson’s disease when she found that the immune system’s T cells target a protein called alpha-synuclein, which gathers into damaging clumps in dopamine-producing brain cells. In recognition of her pioneering work, the team around Dr. Arlehamn was recently awarded $3.5 million from Aligning Science Across Parkinson’s (ASAP) to expand this research in individuals at risk of Parkinson’s. Laboratory Principal Investigator Dr. Sette is the foremost global expert in studying and understanding the immune response, measuring immune activity, and developing disease intervention strategies against a range of diseases, from Parkinson’s to SARS-CoV-2 to cancer and others. Institute leadership and experts President & CSO Mitchell Kronenberg, Ph.D. and Executive Vice President & COO Stephen S. Wilson, Ph.D. also provided their insights during the virtual discussion. Behind-the-scenes access previewing the Sette laboratory, where this work is underway, and the critical technology propelling this research was virtually provided to webinar participants. The presentation concluded with a Q&A, with questions from live participants.
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