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April 22, 2016
NIA’s Singleton To Deliver Mahoney Lecture, May 4

NIA’s Dr. Andrew Singleton will discuss “Age, Genes, Sex and Smell: Predicting Parkinson’s Disease” on Wednesday, May 4 at 3 p.m. in Masur Auditorium, Bldg. 10. His presentation at the annual Florence Mahoney Lecture on Aging is sponsored by NIA and is part of the NIH Director’s Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series.

Singleton, who heads NIA’s Laboratory of Neurogenetics, is an expert in understanding the genetic etiology of Parkinson’s disease. His lab was the first to identify synuclein gene dosage mutations as a cause of Parkinson’s disease and the Leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 gene as a cause of familial Parkinson’s, as well as the more common, sporadic Parkinson’s disease. These proteins are now the two leading therapeutic targets for the disease.

Chief of the neurogenetics lab since 2008, Singleton works on the genetic basis of neurological disorders of a number of diseases, including Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, dystonia, ataxia, dementia and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The goal of this research is to identify genetic variability that causes or contributes to disease and to use this knowledge to understand the molecular processes underlying disease.

Dr. Andrew Singleton
Dr. Andrew Singleton

More recently, Singleton’s laboratory has focused on the use of high-dimensional data to understand risk and pathogenic function in Parkinson’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders.

His lecture will focus on the most effective route to testing disease-modifying therapies in neurodegenerative disease earlier in the disease process. He will discuss attempts to make headway in identifying at-risk patients earlier, when interventions may be most effective.

Singleton received his B.S. from the University of Sunderland in the United Kingdom and his Ph.D. from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, U.K. His postdoctoral studies were spent at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., where his research initially focused on genetic determinants of dementia, in particular Alzheimer’s disease and dementia with Lewy bodies.

He moved to NIA in 2001 and became a principal investigator, leading the molecular genetics unit Califfin 2002. Singleton became a tenured senior investigator in 2007 and an NIH Distinguished Investigator in 2016.

He has received numerous awards over the years. These include recognition as the first recipient of the Jay van Andel Award for Outstanding Achievement in Parkinson’s Disease Research (2012); the Annemarie Opprecht Award (2008); the NIH Director’s Award (2008); and the Boehringer Mannheim Research Award (2005). He currently serves on the scientific advisory boards of the Michael J. Fox Foundation and the Lewy Body Dementia Association.

The annual Mahoney Lecture is named in honor of Florence Stephenson Mahoney (1899–2002), who devoted the last half of her life to advocating successfully for the creation of NIA and increased support for NIH.

There will be a reception and an opportunity to talk with the speaker in the NIH Library immediately after the lecture.

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