We study how human cells respond to the various stresses they encounter in normal physiology and during disease. We are interested both in cell autonomous responses (general changes in cell behaviour that can include apoptosis and autophagy) and non-cell autonomous responses, including inflammatory signalling.
Over recent years we have become particularly interested in the molecular regulation of autophagy – an essential catabolic process through which can recycle damaged or redundant cytoplasmic components to maintain cellular homeostasis and to survive stressful situations.
Autophagy is particularly important for maintaining brain health. So, to understand how autophagy contributes to neural cell homeostasis, and how it can prevent disease, we use human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) to generate brain region-specific human neurons and glia to model complex disease processes in the dish. We are particularly interested in how autophagy maintains neural homeostasis in the midbrain, and how this influences disease onset/progress in Parkinson’s.
For more information on our research, please follow the “Recent Highlights” link.
Our work is made possible by generous funding from the following Charities and Research Councils: