Elena Moro (EM): As incoming co-chair of the Scientific Panel “Neurogenetics” can you briefly introduce yourself and your specific field of expertise to the Neuropenews readers.
Prof. Th. Klopstock (TK): I am Professor of Neurology at the University of Munich, Germany. My main interest, from the beginning of my career, has been in neurogenetics, with a particular focus on mitochondrial disorders and on neurodegeneration with brain iron accumulation. Accordingly, I have been the coordinator of the German network for mitochondrial disorders (mitoNET) and of the EU-FP7-collaborative project TIRCON (Treat Iron-Related Childhood-Onset Neurodegeneration) from their beginnings in 2009 and 2011, respectively. I am very happy that treatment options arise now for many neurogenetic disorders, and contributing to this exciting development is one of my major motivations.
EM: Can you outline the strategic work plan you foresee for the Scientific Panel that you co-chair?
TK: The Scientific Panel “Neurogenetics” aims to increase the awareness for and the knowledge about neurogenetic disorders for members of the EAN and beyond. This is all the more important as we currently witness a revolution in diagnostics and therapy options for genetic diseases. For this purpose, the panel will organize educational activities at the EAN congresses, provide scientific updates on the EAN webpage and work on updated guidelines. Moreover, the panel will promote cooperation between all stakeholders in the field of neurogenetics including the patient organizations.
EM: What is the main “deliverable” that you want to achieve for the work the Scientific Panel will address during your term of office?
TK: To increase the significance of neurogenetics in neurology, to inspire young medical doctors and scientists for this fascinating area of research, and to help novel treatments come true for neurogenetic disorders.