Meet Dave the Worm, the new mascot for the Parkinson’s UK charity appeal. Dave and his friends have been helping Dr. Anton Gartner and his team to understand what happens when dopamine-producing cells start to die, and to isolate a gene that they think might protect these nerve cells, which could lead to treatments that slow or stop the progression of Parkinson’s.

Dave is the brainchild of the UK Parkinson’ s society, which funds research at the Gartner Lab at College of Life Sciences. Parkinson’s UK also based their last Christmas funding appeal based on the Gartner labs work on C. elegans capturing the public imagination and, essentially largely funding the equivalent of an entire project grant.

The team at Parkinson’s UK have now built on this success an introduced Dave the Worm as their mascot. Dave is enthusiastic, curious as well as communicative and open minded and it is hoped that he will be instrumental in communicating the importance of research into Parkinson’s disease to a large audience including, patients, families the general public – and even kids!

Dave has its own website and also has a presence on Twitter and Facebook. Anton Gartner whose work has created such excitement said, “I am certainly proud to have our rather basic research promoted in such a novel way. The hope is that he will get a younger audience interested in Parkinson’s research. We hope that you all like and support Dave the Worm. Please visit his website or meet him on Facebook and Twitter and spread the word.”