Today, we’re pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Roger Barker as Chair of our neurodegeneration efforts.
Professor Barker is a distinguished figure in clinical neuroscience and leading expert in neurodegenerative disorders. His extensive experience and insights will support our mission to tackle complex neurodegenerative conditions like motor neuron disease.
Roger is Professor of Clinical Neuroscience at the University of Cambridge and Consultant Neurologist at Addenbrooke’s Hospital. He also leads the regional NHS Huntington’s Disease as well as an NHS Parkinson’s Disease clinic. His research explores the heterogeneity of these disorders and its basis, which has informed work he has conducted on trialling new experimental therapeutics for these conditions including cell and gene therapies as well as drug repurposing.
Notably, he serves as the lead academic scientist of the Alzheimer’s Research UK funded Drug Discovery Institute in Cambridge as well as the John Van Geest Centre for Brain Repair. He is also a co-editor in chief of the Journal of Neurology as well as an integral part of the World Parkinson Coalition, which highlights his commitment to working with patients and clinicians in advancing our understanding and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.
LifeArc is committed to spending over £1 billion by 2030 in areas of life science where it can have the greatest impact, with neurodegeneration being a key area identified where there is significant unmet patient need.
Stéphane Maikovsky, Interim Chief Executive Officer of LifeArc expressed enthusiasm for Professor Barker’s appointment stating, “We are delighted to welcome Professor Barker to our team, his extensive expertise and dedication to pioneering research significantly aligns with our mission to support and develop innovative therapies and interventions for those affected by neurodegenerative conditions.”
Professor Barker said, “I am really excited by this new role I have with LifeArc as I have devoted much of my professional life to translating new therapies and approaches to patients with neurodegenerative disorders. I truly believe that by harnessing the imagination and input from all stakeholders, we can truly transform the lives of families living with neurodegeneration through the work supported by LifeArc.”
In his new role at LifeArc, Professor Barker will join the LifeArc-UK DRI Governance Committee and LifeArc’s Motor Neuron Disease Translational Challenge Scientific Advisory Board joining esteemed experts Kevin Talbot, Professor of Motor Neuron Biology at the University of Oxford, Linda Greensmith, Professor of Neuroscience at University College London and Tom Gillingwater, Professor of Anatomy at the University of Edinburgh.