Prof. El-Agnaf is considered a pioneer in the field of Parkinson’s disease and related disorders. Several inventions have emerged from his research, and his discoveries have greatly impacted the scientific research community, provided further insight into the molecular pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease, and offered new opportunities for the development of novel diagnostic and therapeutic tools for Parkinson’s disease. His research has also been translated into clinical studies to evaluate the potential use of α-synuclein in body fluids as diagnostic marker for Parkinson’s disease and related disorders.
Current research efforts in Dr. El-Agnaf’s laboratory cover the following topics: (1) Elucidating the mechanism of protein aggregation and deposition of and their potential link to neurodegeneration and cell loss; (2) Screening for small natural molecules as potential novel therapeutics for neurodegenerative diseases; (3) Discovering novel biological markers for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease; (4) Developing novel immunoassays for diagnosing neurodegenerative diseases, particularly in their early stages; (5) Developing conformation-specific monoclonal antibodies for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease pathology for use in dissecting the pathogenic mechanisms, developing novel diagnosis and vaccines for neurodegenerative disorders; (6) Developing novel MRI- and PET-imaging compounds for Parkinson’s disease. These projects are supported and funded by several international funding agencies and pharmaceutical companies, including Qatar National Research Foundation (Doha, Qatar), Parkinson’s disease Foundation (NY, USA), Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (NY, USA); Lundbeck A/S (Copenhagen, Denmark); Weston Brain Institute (Canada) and Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation (NY, USA).