Dr. Farrer earned a doctoral degree in molecular and statistical genetics from St. Mary’s Hospital Medical School, UK. He completed a fellowship in medical genetics at the Kennedy-Galton Centre, UK, and in neurogenetics at Mayo Clinic where he implicated increased gene dosage of alpha-synuclein as the cause of Lewy body dementia. As an assistant professor of molecular neuroscience, Dr. Farrer and his team discovered that mutations in the LRRK2 gene are associated with Parkinson’s disease and postulated that these mutations increase the activity of the LRRK2 kinase. Dr. Farrer moved to the University of British Columbia as a Canada Excellence Research Chair in 2010.
He is currently an endowed chair at the Norman Fixel Institute for Neurological Diseases, director of the Clinical Genomics Program and head of the Laboratory for Neurogenetics and Neuroscience at the Evelyn F. and William L. McKnight Brain Institute at the University of Florida.