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Harrison Waters


Postdoctoral Research Scientist

I have recently completed my doctoral studies at the University of Melbourne in Australia. In this role I studied the mechanisms of propagation of alpha-synuclein, a hallmark pathological protein in Parkinson's disease. The study utilised brain and peripheral injection mouse models to initiate brain-first and body-first Parkinson's disease pathology, and highlighted the inflammatory processes along the gut-brain axis were critical to the progression of pathology. In addition, my laboratory therapeutically targeted specific cytokine receptors, critical to the inflammatory processes in these models, which were found to limit both alpha-synuclein propagation and subsequent behavioural and biochemical features of Parkinson's disease. I have joined the Wade-Martins Laboratory as a Postdoctoral Research Scientist focussing on in vivo models of neurodegeneration in Parkinson's disease. The University of Oxford has established a new collaboration with EndLyz, to test and validate novel therapeutic targets in the endolysosomal system in Parkinson’s disease. This project will be run in parallel with both an in vivo mouse based project and a study utilising iPSC-derived dopaminergic neurons, to ultimately elucidate novel mechanisms in which the lysosomal system is involved in degeneration of dopaminergic neurons, and how this process may be limited by therapeutically targeting the lysosomal system. Embracing an interdisciplinary approach, my goal is to integrate animal models and patient-derived stem cells to develop a lysosomal signature in PD models, aiming to shed light on Parkinson’s disease progression, hoping to unlock novel mechanistic insights and identify new therapeutic targets.