Richard Wade-Martins - Neuroscience - 'Human stem cell models of neurological disease'
We seek highly motivated DPhil students with either a scientific or medical background to join our laboratory to work on the molecular mechanisms of neurological and neurodegenerative diseases. Techniques in molecular genetics have allowed the identification of genes and proteins with an important function in both familial and sporadic forms of Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Our laboratory focusses on following up these genes and proteins to better understand disease mechanisms to identify potential therapeutic targets for further translational studies. To undertake this, we work with induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) generated from patients with Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and related disorders. iPSC-derived patient models promise to revolutionize the study of neurodegenerative diseases in which the critical cell type has been previously inaccessible. The capability to generate, engineer, differentiate and phenotype iPSC-derived neurons and glia from patients with neurodegeneration allows for the study of highly physiological human models of disease. We have undertaken a detailed phenotypic analysis of patient and control iPSC-derived neurons and glia and identified and published strong cellular phenotypes using robust assays suitable for studying disease mechanisms across a range of new projects.