Extraordinary People: Dr Tilo Kunath
Dr Tilo Kunath, SynthSys member and Reader in Regenerative Neurobiology in the School of Biological Sciences is the latest innovator to be spotlighted in Edinburgh Innovations Extraordinary People campaign.
Tilo is making crucial advancements in the fight against Parkinson’s disease.
The CRISPR- Cas9 gene editing tool allows Tilo Kunath and team to edit parts of the genome by removing, adding or altering specific sections of the DNA sequence. These new laboratory-generated midbrain dopaminergic (mDA) cells did not develop signs of the disease, Lewy bodies, unlike those that were not gene-edited.
Transplantation of dopamine-producing neurons has proved useful in disease management because it can reinnervate Parkinson’s affected brain regions, restore dopamine levels and provide symptom relief. These advances could be most beneficial in young-onset Parkinson’s and younger patients.