Open Day connects researchers and people with lived experience of Parkinson’s

Published on 12 February 2024

Over 50 researchers, people with Parkinson’s, and carers came together at an Open Day on 6th February 2024 to discuss the latest Parkinson’s research in Dundee, tour different labs and facilities, and connect over lunch.

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The event was organised by the Dundee Research Interest Group (DRIG) and our School of Life Sciences, with support from Parkinson’s UK. 

“There are not many places in the UK, in the world, where we could find a team of such renowned scientists, pioneering discoveries that will impact neurological conditions, and in particular Parkinson’s, who also give so freely of their time and energy to us. 

The scientists ensure that they have close links with people with Parkinson’s and understand how/what they are feeling. They give them the chance to visit the labs, meet the teams, and begin to understand the details of some of the complex science being used to give people with Parkinson’s and their families some hope for the future!”

Jo Goodburn, Dundee Research Interest Group Secretary


Collaborative, accessible research talks

In preparation for the Open Day, our researchers partnered with people with Parkinson’s and carers to prepare joint presentations, prompting great analogies to communicate complex science together. These collaborative talks were well received, stimulating insightful questions and follow-up discussions during the morning session of talks.

“Talks were so informative and the combination of researcher and lived experience was perfect - the analogies worked so well.”


Two people giving a presentation to a group of people

Connecting and sharing different perspectives

A relaxed lunch and refreshment breaks enabled everyone to meet, connect, and share their experiences of Parkinson’s and Parkinson’s research.

Some groups of researchers and people with lived experience took time to use our Exchanges: Inspiring Parkinson’s Conversations activity together, prompting deeper conversations. Feedback included:

“We talked about fear and the complexity of research”, “It helped me ask more difficult questions that would be too direct to ask outright”, and “We both agreed we wouldn’t have spontaneously discussed some of these subjects without the prompts”.

Inspiring tours

The afternoon concluded with 3 lab tours to highlight some of the major areas of Parkinson’s research in Dundee: in our MRC PPU, the School of Life Sciences Proteomics Facility and the Centre for Targeted Protein Degradation.


“We enjoyed the tours and loved meeting the researchers - they are so inspiring and passionate”


“The event was an overwhelming success. I was blown away by the interaction between the visitors and the scientists and the breadth of questions that were asked during the talks and lab tours showed that the event captured people’s interest. I found the day truly inspiring. I’m grateful to the team of people who made this happen, especially the Dundee Research Interest Group, all the scientists, and the admin support teams from MRC PPU and Cell Signalling and Immunology.”

Dr Andy Howden, Principal Investigator, Cell Signalling and Immunology

"Hard to think of improvement - this was outstanding"


"All was superb"