Our Parkinson's research

Parkinson’s disease researchers: L-R Associate Professor Antony Cooper, Dr Dr Yuxi Zhang, Dr Daniel Hesselson and PhD student Brigitte Phillips

Garvan’s Parkinson Disease research program is multidisciplinary, focusing on translating basic scientific discoveries into the clinic where people can be helped.

The Garvan Institute utilises advanced human genome sequencing technologies. This gives the Parkinson’s disease research teams an unparalleled ability to undertake whole genome sequencing of patient DNA and animal models.  It vastly increases our understanding of disease and leads to better, safer and more effective personalised medicine. 

You can help our search for better Parkinson's treatments by donating to our work.

Australian Parkinson’s Mission & clinical trials

We are committed to holding clinical trials for potential neuroprotective drugs that may slow or stop disease progression and the associated worsening of symptoms. Read more about the Australian Parkinson’s Mission.

Key areas of investigation

Associate Professor Cooper
Associate Professor Cooper


Associate Professor Antony Cooper, Head of Garvan’s Neuroscience Division and of the Parkinson’s Disease and Neurogenomics Laboratory, is conducting groundbreaking work on finding the cause(s) of PD for earlier diagnoses and identification of treatments to halt PD progression. This would mean that people are not only diagnosed before experiencing symptoms, but can get early treatment, so they never do.

“Identifying early changes allows us to identify treatments to restore pathways and halt disease progression.”

Dr Daniel Hesselson
Dr Daniel Hesselson


Dr Daniel Hesselson, Head of the Beta Cell Regeneration Laboratory, and his team are focused on protecting the neurons damaged by PD, on the prevention of progression by repurposing existing clinical drugs, and why diabetes is linked to a higher risk of PD.

“We have identified five possible drugs that could provide neuron protection in PD and slow or halt progression.”


  • Eskitis Institute, Griffith University, Queensland, Australia
  • Flinders University, SA, Australia
  • Harvard Medical School, Parkinson Personalized Medicine Program, Massachusetts, USA
  • Oxford University, Oxford, UK
  • Neuroscience Research Australia, NSW, Australia
  • Stanford University, California, USA
  • St Vincent’s Hospital, Neurology Department, NSW, Australia
  • University of Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan, Canada
  • University of Sydney, NSW, Australia
  • UNSW School of Medicine, NSW, Australia.