Postdoctoral Research Scientist
I am carrying out a detailed investigation of the cellular mechanisms whereby tau protein and amyloid beta interact to affect the electrophysiological properties of neurons, which may represent an early mechanism underlying Alzheimer’s Disease. The research makes use of human glutamatergic cortical projection neurons differentiated from human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) in culture, alongside a variety of genome editing methods such as CRISPR, zinc finger and TALEN technologies, to generate human neurons carrying genetic mutations as models for a better understanding of the interaction between ABeta and tau. The work is in collaboration with Dr. Vargas-Cabellero (University of Southampton), investigating hippocampal slice electrophysiology of mouse transgenic lines of wild type and disease-associated MAPT (tau) variants, and with Dr. Colin Akerman (University of Oxford), to investigate the cellular neurophysiology of human neurons derived from iPSC lines.
I graduated from University College London with a Neuroscience B.Sc. (Hons) in 2008, where I worked in the Cell Signalling Laboratory at the Institute of Neurology, investigating neurotransmitter modulation of glutathione levels in microglial cells. I then moved to the University of Oxford to read for the M.Sc. in Pharmacology, funded by the BBSRC, during which I joined the Anatomical Neuropharmacology Unit, to investigate the developmental expression and localisation of the calcium binding protein ‘Copine-6’ in neurons. I remained at the MRC ANU, with the support of a Medical Research Council doctoral studentship, where I investigated the expression of Copine-6 in rodent brain, using a variety of molecular, protein and anatomical techniques, including light and electron microscopy. I was awarded the Paton Prize in Pharmacology during the transfer from probationary student to D.Phil status, and after successfully defending my D.Phil thesis, I continued at the MRC ANU as a research scientist before taking up the post-doctoral position in the Wade-Martins group. During my time in Oxford I have given lectures, seminars and classes at the Medical Sciences Teaching Centre and in the Department of Pharmacology.