Thea P. Lillethorup

Thea Pinholt Lillethorup, Department of Nuclear Medicine & PET Center, Aarhus University, will defend her PhD thesis:

Evaluating Göttingen minipig models of Parkinson’s disease with PET imaging


Date: Wednesday June 6th 2018

Time: 14:00

Place: Aarhus University Hospital, Nørrebrogade 44, building 10G, Palle Juul-Jensen Auditorium



Alterations in the synthesis or degradation of α-synuclein are important for the development of Parkinson’s disease. Influencing these systems can be used to develop a large animal model of the disease, which could be useful in the future to test new therapeutic strategies and develop new biomarkers. This PhD project has tested whether α-synuclein overexpression in the dopamine producing neurons in the Göttingen minipig results in symptomatic and pathological manifestations of Parkinson’s disease. Furthermore, we have tested whether blocking of protein degradation imposes deleterious effects on the dopamine system and affects the motor function of the animals. With the intention to propose a novel animal model of Parkinson’s disease, this PhD project has focused on the use of behavioural testing, PET imaging and immunohistochemical tests to evaluate the animal models.    



Professor David J. Brooks

Associate professor Anne M. Landau

Assistant professor Dariusz Orlowski


Assessment committee: 

Associate professor Mai Marie Holm (Chairman)

Associate professor Pedro Rosa-Neto, Department of Neurology & Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, McGill University and The Douglas Hospital Research Centre, Canada

Professor Peter Jenner, King’s College London, UK.


All are welcome


For more information, please contact PhD student Thea Pinholt Lillethorup, email: