Scientific Advisory Board

Alan Whone

MD, PhD, Neurologist

Dr. Alan Whone is Senior Lecturer in Movement Disorders at the University of Bristol and Consultant Neurologist to Frenchay Hospital, Bristol. Prior to training in neurology in the South West, Alan undertook a PhD in Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders at the Cyclotron Unit, Hammersmith Hospital , London, with Professor D J Brooks. Presently, Alan runs a regional movement disorders clinic at Frenchay where a significant part of his clinical role is to support the functional neurosurgery for movement disorders programme. His current research programme includes clinical investigations of novel target regions for DBS in PD (the pedunculopontinenucleus) and growth factor infusions (GDNF) in PD, both of which he is investigating with Professor Stephen Gill. Alan also runs non surgical clinical investigations into cognitive and axial complications in PD and oversees preclinical (lab based) investigations into novel neuroprotective approaches, including assessing the potential utility of bone marrow stromal cells as a cell based therapy in Parkinson’s disease.

Jonathan Knowles

PhD, Professor

Previously President of group research at Roche, Professor Knowles was also a member of the Genentech Board for 12 years and of the Chugai Board for seven years. He was the first chairman of the Board of the IMI – Innovative Medicines Initiative – with a budget of more than 2 Billion Euros over five years. He was awarded the Scrip’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010 for his long academic and commercial career distinguished by his passion for personalized medicine. Board member of Herantis since 2009, Professor Knowles holds a PhD in Molecular Genetics from the University of East Anglia, England. He currently serves also as a Professor at the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM).

Kari Alitalo

MD, PhD, Professor

Professor Alitalo is the Director of Translational Cancer Biology Research program at the University of Helsinki. He is an internationally leading expert in endothelial growth factors in cancer. His research group discovered VEGF-C, the growth factor that regulates lymphangiogenesis, and subsequently has shown that regulation of lymphangiogenesis can be used therapeutically to suppress lymph node metastasis but also to promote formation of new lymphatic vessels in lymphedema. He has published more than 500 articles in the fields of biomedicine, cancer research and cell and molecular biology. Professor Alitalo has received numerous international prizes, such as InBev-Baillet Latour International Health Prize, Louis Jeantet prize for Medicine, Anders Jahre prize, Dr. A.H. Heineken Prize and is a foreign associated member of the National Academy of Sciences in the USA.

Seppo Kaakkola

MD, PhD, Professor

Professor Kaakkola earned his MD degree in 1978 and PhD in 1981 from the Department of Pharmacology, University of Helsinki. Following training in pharmacology and clinical pharmacology he moved to the Department of Neurology in Helsinki University Central Hospital where he is still working. Docent (Senior Lecturer) in neurology since 1990, and in 2010 the President of Finland awarded him the title Professor. Professor Kaakkola has been the Chief Physician of Out-patient Department and at present is responsible for the movement disorders unit at Out-patient Department of Helsinki University Central Hospital. His main research interests include dopamine, Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders and drug development. He was involved in development of entacapone (a COMT inhibitor, Orion Pharma) for Parkinson’s disease both at the preclinical and clinical phases. Professor Kaakkola has a long history of active collaboration with patient organizations, including the Finnish Parkinson Foundation and the Finnish Multiple Sclerosis Society.