• Veterinary Medicine
  • Research Focus


  • Drosophila Melanogaster
  • Clinical Conditions

  • Prion diseases
  • Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
  • Equipment & Techniques

  • Other
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    Dr Alana Thackray

    University Position
    Senior Research Associate


    Prion diseases, or transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, are infectious, fatal, neurodegenerative conditions of humans and animal species including scrapie in sheep, bovine spongiform encephalopathy in cattle and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans. Our current research focus is: (a) prion strain analysis at the molecular and biochemical level (b) determination of the sensitivity of cervid PrP transgenic Drosophila to prion infectivity (c) determination of the sensitivity of human PrP transgenic Drosophila to prion infectivity (d) the reduction and replacement of mammals in bioassays We are interested in prion disease pathogenesis, transmission and therapeutic strategy including defining the nature of the infectious agent, determining the molecular basis of prion strain diversity, and understanding the conversion of PrPC into PrPSc, An exciting new area of our research is the generation of an invertebrate model of mammalian prion disease utilising Drosophila transgenic for either cervid or human PrP.

    Key Publications

    A new model for sensitive detection of zoonotic prions by PrP transgenic Drosophila.

    Journal: J Biol Chem
    E-pub date: 31 Aug 2021
    Authors: AM Thackray, O Andréoletti, J Spiropoulos, R Bujdoso


    Clearance of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease prions in vivo by the Hsp70 disaggregase system.

    Journal: Brain
    E-pub date: 14 Sep 2022
    Authors: AM Thackray, B Lam, EE McNulty, AV Nalls, CK Mathiason, SS Magadi, WS Jackson, O Andréoletti, C Marrero-Winkens, H Schätzl, R Bujdoso

    Transcriptional signature of prion-induced neurotoxicity in a Drosophila model of transmissible mammalian prion disease

    Journal: Biochemical Journal
    E-pub date: 28 Feb 2020
    Authors: A Thackray, B Lam, A Shahira Binti Ab Razak, G Yeo, R Bujdoso