Professor Dario Alessi's research focuses on unravelling the roles of poorly characterized components which regulate protein phosphorylation that are linked to human disease. Professor Alessi, obtained a BSc (1988) and PhD (1991) at the University of Birmingham. He carried out postdoctoral at the University of Dundee from 1991 to 1997, where he became fascinated by protein kinases and how they are regulated and control almost all aspects of cell biology. In 1998, Professor Alessi became a program leader in the MRC Protein Phosphorylation Unit, where he was appointed as its director in 2012. Professor Alessi is also the Director of the Dundee Division of Signal Transduction Therapy Unit (DSTT), a unique collaboration between various pharmaceutical companies to accelerate the exploitation of discoveries in the area of protein phosphorylation and ubiquitylation. He has published over 250 peer-reviewed research papers/reviews that have accumulated around 66,000 citations and his h-index is 120 (google scholar).
Much of Professor Alessi's current work is focused on understanding LRRK2 and how mutations in this enzyme cause Parkinson’s disease. As the disease-causing mutations activate LRRK2, there is great interest to develop inhibitors that target LRRK2 as a potential novel therapy to prevent and treat Parkinson’s. Clinical trials assessing LRRK2 inhibitors have reportedly commenced.