Professor Chris Shaw
Professor Christopher Shaw had trained as a Neurologist in New Zealand before coming to Cambridge, UK on a Wellcome Trust Fellowship and moving to King’s College London in 1995. He is Director of the Maurice Wohl Clinical Neuroscience Institute and established the UK Dementia Research Institute Centre at King’s. His research team have discovered more amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) genes than any other laboratory, enabling gene testing for patients and at-risk family members. They have generated a large number of stem cell and transgenic mouse models that recapitulate key features of the human disease and have revealed important mechanistic insights. Their focus for the future is to develop gene therapies for a wide range of neurodegenerative disorders using adeno-associated viral gene vectors. Award highlights include the “Forbes Norris Award” for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Care and Research (2009), “Sheila Essey Prize” for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Research (2012) and “Kea World Class New Zealander Award” (2019). He remains clinically active, running an ALS clinic at King’s College Hospital and leading clinical trials of antisense oligonucleotide therapies. Most recently he and two colleagues established a spinout gene therapy company AviadoBio, which uses AAV vectors to gene supplement and knockdown for neurodegenerative disorders. The company has raised USD$100m and aims to start its first clinical trial early in 2023.