Equipment & Techniques
My work seeks to uncover the fundamental molecular drivers of neurodegenerative disease. These diseases, including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Motor Neuron (ALS) disease, are unified by a failure in the machinery that normally keeps our cells healthy in the proteostasis network. Failures in this network allow the accumulation of damaged protein molecules into clumps within the brain. We do not fully understand the role of protein clumps in disease onset and progression. Protein clumps, or aggregates, are rare and often heterogeneous, making them an elusive target when trying to understand, prevent or reverse their toxicity. Currently, I am developing novel quantitation tools to fingerprint protein aggregates released from the brains of MND patients using a toolbox of sensitive imaging and mass spectrometry techniques. These fingerprints will assist researchers to select models which produce similar aggregates in the lab, such that they can be used to identify and test novel therapies.