Congratulations to Kavli Oxford’s Victor (Shijun) Yan on Receiving the Goodger and Schorstein Scholarship

Congratulations to Kavli Oxford’s Victor (Shijun) Yan on Receiving the Goodger and Schorstein Scholarship

We are delighted to announce that Victor (Shijun) Yan, a DPhil student within the Tofaris Group at the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences (NDCN), has been awarded the prestigious Goodger and Schorstein scholarship. Victor's achievement is a testament to his hard work and dedication to advancing our understanding of neurodegenerative diseases, particularly Parkinson's disease (PD).


Victor's photo in the lab.


Parkinson’s disease, the second most common neurodegenerative disorder, is characterised by a lengthy prodromal phase that begins more than ten years before clinical symptoms emerge. During this phase, a key protein called α-synuclein accumulates in brain cells, leading to both motor and non-motor symptoms that progress alongside α-synuclein pathology. Unfortunately, there is currently no blood test available to identify individuals at risk during this prodromal phase.

Victor's research focuses on addressing this critical gap by refining biochemical assays and discovering novel biomarkers in neuronally-derived extracellular vesicles (NEVs) isolated from blood. NEVs are small membrane nanoparticles released by nerve cells that circulate systemically and hold promise as potential biomarkers for PD. Collaborating with colleagues in both laboratory and clinical settings, Victor has demonstrated the potential of serum NEV α-synuclein measurements in identifying individuals at high risk of developing PD.

Commenting on his achievement, Victor said, “I am thankful to the Medical Sciences Division for selecting me for the Goodger and Schorstein scholarship. It will enable me to continue my current project developing a droplet-based assay that could measure the biomarker we identified at single NEV resolution with improved accuracy.”

Victor's supervisor, George Tofaris, added, “Congratulations to Victor on winning this well-deserved scholarship. His enthusiasm and exemplary research effort have contributed significantly to this area of clinical need.”

Victor's dedication and innovative work offer hope for early detection and intervention in Parkinson's disease. We look forward to the continued impact of his research.

Since April 2021, Oxford University's KAVLI Institute for Nanoscience Discovery is proudly serving as a hub for research groups from seven different departments spanning both the medical and physical sciences, including the Tofaris Lab from the NDCN.