Dr. Mark R. Cookson is a cell biologist whose current research interests include the effects of mutations in the genes associated with neurodegeneration at the cellular and molecular level. His laboratory efforts are directed at finding the underlying pathways that lead to Parkinson's disease and related disorders. Dr. Cookson received both his BSc and PhD degrees from the University of Salford, UK. His postdoctoral studies included time spent at the Medical Research Council laboratories and at the University of Newcastle, Newcastle, UK. He joined the Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Florida, as an Assistant Professor in 2000 and in 2002 moved to the National Institute on Aging, where he is currently the acting chief of the Laboratory of Neurogenetics.