Postdoctoral Research Scientist
My research is a collaborative project between the Szele group (DPAG), the Russell group (Chemistry) and OxStem Neuro. There are niche areas in the brain which produce stem cells capable of becoming neurons, astrocytes or oligodendrocytes. This occurs throughout human life and is dysregulated in many neurodegenerative disorders. My research focuses on using a library of small molecule compounds to increase neurogenesis to target the loss or destruction of neurons in these degenerative disorders to ameliorate the condition leading to not only increased neurons but also improved behavioural outcomes.
In 2014 I obtained my Ph.D. from Brunel University investigating the role of the orexinergic system in Alzheimer’s disease including the novel GPR103 receptor. Here I studied the sleep wake system and how it impacted neuronal signalling as well as its effect of plaque accumulation and tau hyperphosphorylation. I also examined how these promiscuous GPCRs function by forming heterodimers with different subclasses of Orexin receptors or GPR103 to elicit their full response. I joined the Szele group in November 2014 where I began working on my project in collaboration with Shionogi Inc, to develop neurogenic small molecules.
Cuprizone demyelination induces a unique inflammatory response in the subventricular zone.
Hillis JM. et al, (2016), J Neuroinflammation, 13
Orexin receptors exert a neuroprotective effect in Alzheimer's disease (AD) via heterodimerization with GPR103.
Davies J. et al, (2015), Sci Rep, 5
Elucidating the role of DEPTOR in Alzheimer's disease
Davies J. et al, (2014), International Journal of Molecular Medicine
The human myometrium differentially expresses mTOR signalling components before and during pregnancy: evidence for regulation by progesterone.
Foster HA. et al, (2014), J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol, 139, 166 - 172