Professor Per Svenningsson
Professor of Neurology at the Department of Clinical Neuroscience at the Karolinska Institutet and in the Department of Neurology at Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm, Sweden.
Venue: Aula Magna. Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Barcelona
Date: October 24, 2017.
The University of Barcelona organized the Eurolife Autumn Symposium 2017, together with the Institute of Neurosciences of the UB and the Master’s degree in Neurosciences. Per Svenningsson, professor from Karolinska Instituet (Sweden) was awarded the Eurolife medal and gave the final conference of the ceremony.
Per Svenningsson is a neurologist specializing in the neuropharmacology of movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease. He is a professor of neurology at the Department of Clinical Neuroscience at the Karolinska Institutet and in the Department of Neurology at Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm, Sweden. He is the team leader of a research group that studies the underlying pathogenic process of PD. Svenningsson is also a member of many research councils and committee, including the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP).
Svenningsson received his MD and PhD from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, where he also completed postdoctoral research. In 2012 he was appointed full professor in the Department of Clinical Neuroscience and the Department of Neurology at the Karolinska University Hospital.
Parkinson´s disease (PD) is a common neurodegenerative disorders with a largely unknown etiology. The next breakthrough in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease (PD) will be aimed at interference or blockade of disease progression, based on insights into the underlying pathogenic process. The development of this new generation of disease-modifying drugs is hampered by the lack of adequate diagnostics and biomarkers that reflects early signs of disease. The motor signs of PD are often preceded by non-motor symptoms including depression, anosmia, REM sleep disorder and constipation. It is important to develop an improved knowledge of these clinical signs of early PD as neuroprotective and restorative therapies for PD would ideally be offered at an early stage to effectively modify disease progression. The laboratory develops cell and animal models to mimic the progressive disease progression in PD. Biochemical, histological, pharmacological, molecular biological and behavioral techniques are used in these studies. In clinical studies with patients, clinical ratings, biochemical and imaging (PET and MRI) analyses are being made. A special emphasis is placed on non-motor symptoms of PD and the identification of biomarkers. The information is transferred to a newly developed PD quality register. The research team also studies the pathophysiology of unipolar depression in animal models as well as in patient samples. In addition to PD, other movement disorders including Huntington’s disease and ataxia are studied.
In addition to research and teaching, Svenningsson holds a number of positions of trust. He was a former grant reviewer for INSERM/ANR in France. He has been on the reviewing committee of the Finnish Medical Research Council, the Swedish Parkinson Fund, and the Norwegian Medical Research Council. He is a member of the Ulf von Euler Lecturer committee and a councilor on the Executive Committee of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP).
Among Svenningsson’s honors and awards are the NARSAD Young Investigator Award (2007), awarded to promising young scientists conducting neurobiological research by the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation. In 2008 he was awarded a researcher position at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.