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This page will be available by 1 August 2017
This page will be available by 1st October 2017
Prof. Omar El-Agnaf
Qatar Biomedical Research Institute - HBKU
Omar El-Agnaf received his PhD degree in biochemistry from The Queen's University of Belfast, UK, in 1997. After postdoctoral training at The Queen's University of Belfast and St. George's Hospital Medical School in London, Dr. El-Agnaf established his own group at Lancaster University, in 2001.
He and his research team are pursuing three research topics related to Parkinson’s disease (PD): 1) pathogenesis; 2) biomarker discovery and validation; and 3) drug discovery. In 1998, Prof. El-Agnaf demonstrated, for the first time, that alpha-synuclein protein can aggregate and form amyloid-like fibrils similar to the Lewy bodies found in PD brain. His team reported the unexpected discovery that neuronal cells constitutively release alpha-synuclein protein and that alpha-synuclein is normally present in cerebrospinal fluid and peripheral plasma. He pioneered the quantification of alpha-synuclein in biological fluids. His discoveries have greatly impacted the scientific research community, provided further insight into the molecular pathogenesis of PD, and offered new opportunities for the development of novel diagnostic tests for PD. More recently, his research group developed novel, conformation-specific monoclonal antibodies that only recognize alpha-synuclein pathology, without cross-reactivity to other neurodegenerative diseases pathology. These novel antibodies have great potential for use in dissecting the pathogenic mechanisms, diagnosing the onset and developing a vaccine for PD and related synucleinopathies.