Prof. Nobutaka Hattori is a Chairman and Professor of the Department of Neurology, Juntendo University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan. He was involved in research about molecular mechanisms of Parkinson’s disease (PD) since 1989. He found decrease in the amount of complex I in the substantia nigra of PD patients. More recently, his collaborators and he identified the disease gene for an autosomal recessive form of young onset familial PD, and named the gene as “parkin”. This is the second form of familial PD in which the disease gene was identified. In addition, they found that the gene product, parkin was direct linked to ubiquitin- proteasome pathway as an ubiquitin ligase. This discovery suggested that protein degradation system was involved in the pathogenesis of not only monogenic form of PD but also sporadic PD.
He has more than 500 peer-reviewed papers. Now he has been working hard for investigating and developing therapeutic methods not only for PD but other neurological diseases.