Sheffield Institute for
Translational Neuroscience

Professor Oliver Bandmann MD PhD

Professor of Movement Disorders Neurology

Honorary Consultant Neurologist

Research Interests


My research focuses on movement disorders, in particular Parkinson´s Disease (PD) but also Huntington´s Disease, Wilson Disease and dystonia.

Current Projects

The main areas of research within my group are as follows:

1. Mitochondrial dysfunction and compound screen with identification of neuroprotective compounds as candidates for disease-modifying treatment in Parkinson’s Disease:
We were the first group worldwide to undertake detailed assessment of mitochondrial function and morphology in both parkin-mutant Parkinson’s Disease  and LRRK2-G2019S mutant Parkinson’s Disease. We subsequently undertook the first compound screen in Parkinson’s Disease mutant patient tissue. 2000 drugs were assessed for their rescue effect on mitochondrial function. A clear mode of action (MOA) was identified for a group of compounds which includes the FDA-licensed drug ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA). 

For interested members of the public: Please have a look at the official University of Sheffield press release for more information on this project. You may also be interested in listening to a BBC interview with Prof Bandmann.


Fig1. The image shows a fibroblast from a patient with Parkinson’s Disease due to mutations in the parkin gene. The fibroblast has been stained to show the mitochondria in the cell. We see increased branching and interconnectedness  of the mitochondrial network in the fibroblasts from patients with parkin mutations compared to controls; this change in morphology of the mitochondria correlates with changes in function.

2. Zebrafish as a new vertebrate animal model for Parkinson’s DiAlien.jpgsease:
We were the first group worldwide to establish a zebrafish model of familial Parkinson’s Disease at the MRC Centre for Developmental and Biomedical Genetics ( . We subsequently demonstrated that Parkin-deficient zebrafish share key features with human parkin-mutant Parkinson’s Disease patients, namely mitochondrial dysfunction and loss of dopaminergic neurons. Most recently, we have identified up-regulation of TIGAR as novel mechanism leading to mitochondrial dysfunction and dopaminergic cell loss in PINK1 deficiency. Inhibition of TIGAR prevents loss of dopaminergic neurons by normalizing mitochondrial function. TIGAR is therefore a promising novel target for disease-modifying therapy in early onset Parkinson’s Disease.

For interested members of the public: Please have a look at the
official University of Sheffield press release for more information on this project.

3. Mitochondrial biomarkers in Parkinson’s Disease:
We are currently undertaking a detailed assessment of mitochondrial function and morphology in patients with sporadic Parkinson’s Disease. This will hopefully allow to eventually identify those patients with Parkinson’s Disease who are most likely to benefit from medication with mitochondrial rescue drugs.

4. Huntington´s Disease (HD)
We are recruiting patients for the EURO-HD REGISTRY study at our multidisciplinary Huntington’s Disease clinic. As part of this, we have been frequently recruiting patients for HD drug trials and other HD studies.

5. Wilson Disease (WD)
I have previously contributed to the development of the first validated clinical rating scale for the neurological impairment in Wilson Disease. More recently, we have conducted the first study on the genetic prevalence of Wilson Disease in the UK in collaboration with the Welcome Sanger Institute, Cambridge, UK. This study demonstrated a surprisingly high ATP7B carrier frequency which suggests that WD may be considerably more common than previously thought. In collaboration with the Sheffield Diagnostic Genetics Service, we also identified novel genetic mechanisms in WD patients.

In close collaboration with the Wilson disease patient self-help group, we are currently establishing a UK-wide, interdisciplinary Wilson disease network. This network will hopefully allow us to develop national standards for the care of Wilson disease patients and facilitate future research projects.

Principal Funding Sources (current and recent)

Parkinson’s UK, the leading Parkinson’s Disease charity, is supporting several of our research projects.

For interested members of the public: Please have a look at this excellent, short animation to learn more about the work of Parkinson’s UK.

In addition, my research is supported by BBSRC/Lilly, the MRC and the University of Sheffield.

Research Team

  • Post-doctoral scientists: Dr Marc Da Costa, Dr Alice Biosa, Dr Phillipa Carling, Marcus Keatinge
  • PhD students: Lisa Trollope, Karla Lopez, Victor Gonzalez, Mohammed Karami (PhD students with OB as primary supervisor); Simeon Mihaylov, Rebecca Furmston and Sarah Brown (PhD students with OB as co-supervisor)
  • BMedSci Student: Rebecca Wilcock
  • Academic junior doctors or Neurology trainees with affiliation to Bandmann group: Dr Thomas Payne, Dr Christine Lo
    Aimee Mc Tighe and Robert Ure
  • Associate member: Dr Heather Mortiboys, Parkinson’s UK Senior Research Fellow


Mortiboys H, Aasly J, Bandmann O. Ursocholanic acid rescues mitochondrial function in common forms of familial Parkinson’s Disease. Brain, 136:3038-50; 2013. 

Coffey AJ, Durkie M, Hague S, McLay K, Emmerson J, Lo C, Klaffke S, Joyce CJ, Dhawan A, Hadzic N, Mieli-Vergani G, Kirk R, Elizabeth Allen K, Nicholl D, Wong S, Griffiths W, Smithson S, Giffin N, Taha A, Connolly S, Gillett GT, Tanner S, Bonham J, Sharrack B, Palotie A, Rattray M, Dalton A, Bandmann O: A genetic study of Wilson's disease in the United Kingdom. Brain 136:1476-87; 2013.

FlinnLJ, Keatinge K, Bretaud S, MortiboysM, Matsui H, De Felice E, Woodroof H,  Brown L, McTighe A, Soellner R, Allen CE, Heath PR, Milo M, Muqit MK, Reichert A, Köster R, Ingham PW, Bandmann O. TigarB causes mitochondrial dysfunction and neuronal loss in PINK1 deficiency. Annals of Neurology, [epub ahead of print]; 2013. 

Cooper-Knock J, Frolov A, Highley R, Charlesworth G, Kirby J, Milano A, Hartley J, Ince PG, McDermott CJ, Lashley T, Revesz T, Shaw PJ, Wood NW, Bandmann O.  C9ORF72 expansions, parkinsonism and Parkinson’s Disease – a clinicopathological study. Neurology, 81;808-811; 2013.

Mortiboys H, Johansen KK, Aasly JO, Bandmann O: Mitochondrial impairment in patients with Parkinson disease with the G2019S mutation in LRRK2. Neurology 75:2017-20; 2010.

Tain LS, Mortiboys H, Tao RN, Ziviani E, Bandmann O, Whitworth AJ: Rapamycin activation of 4E-BP prevents parkinsonian dopaminergic neuron loss. Nature Neuroscience 12:1129-1135; 2009.

Mortiboys H, Thomas KJ, Koopman WJH, Klaffke S, Abou-Sleiman P, Olpin S, Wood NW, Willems PHGM, Smeitink JAM, Cookson MR, Bandmann O: Mitochondrial function and morphology are impaired in parkin mutant fibroblasts. Ann Neurol 64:555-565; 2008.

Professional Activities

Member of the Editorial Board of the clinical Neuroscience Journal NEUROLOGY

Vice-Chair of the Research Advisory Panel (RAP) of Parkinson’s UK

Neurodegeneration Theme Lead of STH Academic Neuroscience Directorate

Dept Neuroscience (undergraduate) Teaching Lead

BMedSci Programme Director

Member of the Movement Disorders Section of the Association of British Neurologists (ABN)

Biography & Awards

2002-present: University of Sheffield/Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield, UK

1997-2002: Specialist Training in Neurology, Marburg, Germany;

1993-1997: Research Fellow, Institute of Neurology. Queen Square London. PhD on "Genetic Aspects of Parkinsonian Disorders" (Supervisors: Prof A.E. Harding, Prof C.D. Marsden, Prof N.W. Wood)

1992-1993: House officer, Dept Neurology, Klinikum Grosshadern, Munich (Head: Prof T. Brandt)

1991: Qualification at Ludwig Maximilian´s University Munich, Germany


1984-1991: Bavarian Scholarship for highly gifted students

1986-1991: German Scholarship for highly gifted students ("Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes")
1993-1997: Training Fellowship of Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
1996: President´s Prize of Royal Society of Medicine
1997: Queen Square Prize of Institute of Neurology
2000: Oppenheim Prize of German Dystonia Society
2006: "Consultant Teacher of the Year" Prize of "Med Soc" (organization of medical students at UoS Medical School)

Contact Details

Academic Neurology Unit
Department of Neuroscience
University of Sheffield
Room B32
385a Glossop Road
S10 2HQ

T: +44 (0) 114 2222237
F: +44 (0)114 2222290

NHS Secretary: Kate Lovatt-Clark
T: +44 (0)114 271 3005

Academic Secretary:
Rebecca Brown
T: +44 (0)114 2222261