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New Future Leaders Fellow Dr Beccano-Kelly will lead research into synaptic health over time in neurodegeneration.

Oxford Parkinson's Disease Centre Career Development Fellow in Neurobiology Dr Dayne Beccano-Kelly has been awarded a Future Leaders Fellowship by UK Research and Innovation to start a laboratory at Cardiff University. The UKRI's flagship scheme is designed to establish the careers of world-class research and innovation leaders across the UK. Significant government investment is awarded to enable top class researchers to tackle the major research challenges and drive forward transformative new ideas.

As part of his OPDC Fellowship, Dr Beccano-Kelly designed his project to look at electrophysiological dysfunction in human induced pluripotent Stem cell (iPSC) models of disease and related molecular mechanisms such as calcium homeostasis. Dr Beccano-Kelly said: "This work contributed to my burgeoning belief of the temporal nature of neurodegeneration. Specifically, that signs and symptoms start early and contribute to the late stage neurodegeneration observed."

Director of the Oxford Parkinson's Disease Centre Professor Richard Wade-Martins said: "I am very pleased that Dayne has been awarded a UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship to establish his own laboratory at Cardiff. For the last five years Dayne has held a Career Development Fellowship at the Oxford Parkinson’s Disease Centre and I am delighted that this support has enabled him to make the move to independence. Training and investing in the next generation of researchers is so important to further build strength and capacity in neuroscience in the UK and I have no doubt Dayne will be extremely successful."

From early 2021, Dr Beccano-Kelly's new lab will work on synaptic health over time in neurodegeneration to identify dysfunctional mechanisms and early stage modifiable therapeutic targets. According to Dr Beccano-Kelly: "Identifying such targets will allow for the development of treatments that would halt the progression of the disease before the late stage debilitating and devastating symptoms ever manifest!"

Dr Beccano-Kelly has an important message for postdoctoral fellows looking to take the next step in their career towards independent research: "Collaboration is critical to moving the science and yourselves forwards. Seek it out everywhere you go, never turn your nose up at it but embrace it and see how to make it work!"

 

Read more about the Fellowship in the UK Research and Innovation website article "UKRI invests £109 million in future leaders".