Congress Report – Simone Olgiati
Gepubliceerd op 4 januari 2016
Proj. nr: 2015-20C
Congress: XXI World Congress on Parkinson’s Disease and Related Disorders
Place: Milan (Italy)
Date: from December 6th to 9th, 2015
As PhD student at the Department of Clinical Genetics of Erasmus MC (prof. Vincenzo Bonifati’s research group), I am interested in the study of the genetic factors involved in Parkinson’s disease. In my PhD project, I apply innovative genetic technologies to identify novel genes associated with the disease. We believe that, through the study of these genetic factors, we might be able to formulate new hypotheses about the molecular causes and mechanisms of Parkinson’s disease. This ultimately may provide novel targets for the development of therapies to stop and prevent the disease.
Attending the XXI World Congress on Parkinson’s Disease and Related Disorders, in Milan was a remarkable experience. This meeting is one of the largest meeting in the field of movement disorders and attracts clinicians and researcher from all over the world. The scientific program of the meeting comprised many sessions discussing all the aspects of movement disorders. This included educational talks covering clinical, genetic, pathological, and therapeutic aspects of the diseases, but also more translational sessions, covering new scientific topics and strategies in the diagnosis, daily-care, and treatments of these patients.
For a young researcher like me, these large international meetings are great occasions to interact with other people working in my field, and to establish my name by presenting my research work. In Milan, I had the possibility to interact with many clinicians and researcher, and I established new collaborative plans that will ultimately results in novel work, and likely important findings. Moreover, I also had the possibility to present the recent findings of my group in both a poster and oral presentation. In our work, we identified novel homozygous mutations in a new gene for early-onset Parkinsons’disease, called DNAJC6. Our findings convincingly show that DNAJC6 mutations can be a possible cause of Parkinson’s disease, and identified a novel hereditary form of the disease. To read more about these findings, please refer to our recent publication (Olgiati et al., Annals of Neurology, 2015). Presenting this work in Milan gave me the possibility to discuss face-to-face our work with other colleagues, and to receive feedbacks about our findings.
In conclusion, attending the XXI World Congress on Parkinson’s Disease and Related Disorders in Milan was an important step in my career development. Attending this meeting allowed me to hear the newest findings and to meet fellow researchers. Presenting my latest work gave me the possibility to spread our findings and to improve my presentation skills. It was also the perfect occasion to make many new contacts with other scientists in the field. This will help me to develop future collaborations and advance as a researcher.