I am a molecular neurobiologist who studies the development and survival of mammalian neurons. My approach to achieve this has been one of combining all three science disciplines. My group has made major discoveries in understanding the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, where we have pioneered new models and identified potential therapeutic targets for the early stages of this disease. Using both molecular and novel biophysical techniques, we have discovered novel signalling pathways that are involved in the growth and development of mammalian neurons. In addition, to overcome inherent problems with the manipulation and imaging cells of the nervous system, as part of the Biophotonics collaboration in St Andrews and SU2P, we have developed novel technology that allows the controlled poration of cell impermeant biological material into any cell-type, the controlled growth and sorting of cells by use of light, and a novel light sheet microscope.
I was previously the Chair of this theme as I have been involved in biophotonics research for the last 15 years, with highlights being the development of “Photoporation” and optical method to transfect biological material, and also the application of the airy light sheet microscope. I am also able to translate SU2P outputs into the biological sphere as I am involved in the other Scottish based pooling initiatives, specifically I am the Deputy Director of the Scottish Universities Life Sciences Alliance (SULSA; http://www.sulsa.ac.uk/).