The theme of the 2-day 2020 Parkinson’s-UK conference was “Accelerating research and improving care.” Keynote lectures were delivered live from around the world. Several researchers from PD-MitoQUANT partner organisations were involved.

At the September 24th and 25th meeting, research was presented by Prof Donato Di Monte of the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE), and from the RCSI (Royal College of Surgeons Ireland) Dr Niamh Connolly.  University College London (UCL)‘s Dr Sonia Gandhi and Prof David Dexter from Parkinson’s UK  both chaired a range of sessions, including one focusing on mechanisms of neurodegeneration and another introducing new and emerging drug therapies emerging therapeutic strategies.

Prof DiMonte’s talk, “Modelling alpha-synuclein pathology in vivo” was delivered on the second day. A research study by Sandeep Chenna, Alvin Joselin, David Park, Jochen H. M. Prehn, and Niamh M. C. Connolly  was presented as a poster entitled: “Systems modelling of mitochondrial bioenergetics enables exploration of molecular defects contributing to Parkinson’s pathogenesis.” Niamh prepared a video presentation of the poster which you can watch below.

We asked Niamh what it was like to prepare for and present at the Parkinson’s UK virtual conference and her thoughts about the new format.

“This was my first virtual conference, and I was really impressed. On the day, you could go to the ‘auditorium’ to hear talks on Zoom (live and recorded), to the ‘exhibit hall’ to visit posters (in pdf and video format), or to dedicated ‘networking rooms’ to chat with individuals or groups. I enjoyed being able to leave a message at a poster and getting notified of any replies, and meant you weren’t worried about constantly attending to your own poster either. One thing that will improve my experience next time is to free up my calendar to specifically attend the conference (as you would when attending ‘physically’) – trying to juggle multiple things in my home office meant I probably didn’t immerse myself enough in the amazing science! Nevertheless, several of the talks were recorded and are still available to access for attendees. In a sustainable world, virtual conferences are the way of the future!”