I completed my Ph.D. in Neurological Sciences at McGill University in 2006, studying the role of the insulin-like growth factor-II (IGF-II/M6P) receptor in the regulation of cholinergic neurons.
I then undertook a post-doctoral fellowship at the Tanz Centre for Neurodegenerative Diseases at the University of Toronto, where I conducted experiments using small molecules to prevent the accumulation of the β-amyloid (Aβ) peptide that occurs in the Alzheimer’s disease brain.
I joined the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Southampton in 2009 to study how the blood vessels of the brain change with age and how this impacts on the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
In 2014, I joined the Dept. of Life, Health and Chemical Sciences at the Open University as a Lecturer in Neuroscience to continue working on the vasculature of the ageing brain and how this is impacted by risk factors for Alzheimer's disease and Cerebral Amyloid Angiopathy.
B.Sc., Neuroscience, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada (2000)
Ph.D., Neurological Sciences, McGill University, Montreal, Canada (2006)
The aetiology and treatment of Cerebral Amyloid Angiopathy
One of my primary research interests is the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), with particular focus on cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA), the deposition of toxic ß-amyloid (Aß) aggregates that accumulate in the walls of blood vessels in the elderly brain. These vascular Aβ deposits cause vasoconstriction, inhibit angiogenesis and induce endothelial and smooth muscle cell death, leading to microhaemorrhage, stroke and dementia. Despite affecting nearly 30% of all elderly individuals and over 90% of AD patients, this phenomenon is significantly under-researched. Moreover, there are no currently approved therapies for the treatment or prevention of CAA.
My goal is to determine key elements that underlie cerebrovascular ageing and the development of CAA and to uncover physiologic and therapeutic mechanisms by which it can be prevented and treated.
Impact of maternal obesity on the health of the offspring across the lifecourse
I am also interested in the long-term impact of perinatal health and of maternal obesity in particular, on brain function in ageing and the risk of developing AD. Increasing evidence supports a role of maternal obesity in influencing the health of the offpsring, including a predisposition to obesity, metabolic disoders and premature death. However, much less is known about how this affect brain ageing and cogntive function. My goal is detemine how maternal obesity affects cognitive function in the aged offpsring and the epigenetic and cellular mechanisms that underlie these effects.
SDK228 The science of the mind: investigating mental health
SK299 Human Biology