Parkinson's Disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disease. The recent identification of genes underlying familial PD (alpha-synuclein and parkin) opens perspectives for a better understanding of the disease. (N) EUROPARK proposes to develop new cell culture and new animal models for PD based on these two genes using optimised lentiviral vector technology. Lentiviral vectors are efficient tools to transfer genes into the brain. Using lentiviral vector technology we will explore the role of alpha-synuclein and parkin in the pathogenesis of PD, which will enable rational development of new therapies. The potential neuroprotective role of parkin will be used as a new gene therapeutic approach. The established disease model systems will allow evaluation and validation of new gene therapeutic strategies and new drugs for the treatment of PD.