Richard’s research is aimed at understanding lysosomal function in the nervous system and how lysosomal dysfunction contributes to neurodegenerative disease. Richard studies a simple inherited form of neurodegeneration affecting children known as Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis, or Batten disease. Lysosomal dysfunction is a key component of Batten disease and probably a major contributory factor in other neurodegenerative disease such as Parkinson's disease. Richard looks for roles for Batten disease genes in the normal development and function of the nervous system and aims to improve our understanding of neurodegeneration by identifying which cellular events are key to the disease process. Richard principally uses the fruit fly Drosophila as a model organism.