Richard’s research is focused on better understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. His work combines studies on human post-mortem brain tissue, the generation and analysis of novel transgenic and knockout mouse models, and the development of improved induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell-derived dopaminergic neuronal culture models. His work focuses on the study of the functional and genetic mechanisms underlying key neurodegeneration disease loci, such as alpha-synuclein (SNCA), microtubule associated protein tau (MAPT) and leucine rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2).
Richard graduated from Cambridge in Natural Sciences taking Part II Genetics in 1995. He then moved to the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics in Oxford for a DPhil followed by a Wellcome Trust Fellowship. In 2000 Richard moved to Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School as a Wellcome Trust Travelling Research Fellow. He returned to Oxford and in 2004 was awarded a Wellcome Trust Research Career Development Fellowship and started his own group. In 2007 Richard moved to the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, University of Oxford, as a University Lecturer. Richard gained tenure in his faculty position in the University of Oxford in 2013, was appointed an Associate Professor in 2014 and Professor in 2015.
Richard heads the Molecular Neurodegeneration Research Laboratory and the Oxford Parkinson’s Disease Centre (OPDC), a unique multidisciplinary research program at the University of Oxford. The OPDC was established in February 2010 and brings together internationally-renowned scientists who work on the genetics of Parkinson’s, the generation of cell and animal models, and the wiring of brain circuits which control movement, with clinical experts in the diagnosis and treatment of Parkinson’s.
He leads the "Neurodegenerative and Neurodysfunctional Diseases" Work Package in StemBANCC, a large €50M EU IMI Program using stem cells for drug discovery, and heads the iPSC Dementia Stem Cell Initiative in the UK Dementia Platform. The laboratory has state-of-the-art laboratory facilities and is based in the Kavli Institute for Nanoscience Discovery (Kavli INsD), the University of Oxford’s first interdisciplinary science institute spanning the life, medical and physical sciences in the South Parks Road science area.
Richard currently serves on the Research Strategy Board for Parkinson's UK, ad hoc reviewer panels for the NIH, and Committee member for the Alzheimer's Research UK Thames Valley Network Centre. He has previously served on the Scientific Advisory Board for Alzheimer's Research UK and the Grants Working Group for CIRM, the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine.