UK DRI Group Leaders


Professor Paul MatthewsProfessor Paul Matthews

Exploring glial-neuronal interactions at the transition from brain vulnerability to pathology

Paul M. Matthews, OBE, DPhil, FRCP, FMedSci is the Edmond and Lily Safra Professor of Translational Neuroscience and Therapeutics, Centre Director of the UK Dementia Research Institute Centre at Imperial, and Head of the Department of Brain Sciences, Imperial College London. Since 2009, he has been on the Steering Committee of UK Biobank and chairs the Imaging Enhancement Working Group, which has supported UK Biobank for creating the world’s largest population research imaging resource.

Previously, Matthews spent almost nine years as a Vice President in GlaxoSmithKline, holding a variety of senior portfolios, including those for the GSK Clinical Imaging Centre and the later Global Imaging Group. He jointly founded and was the first Director of Oxford FMRIB Centre (1995-2005). He is a Fellow by Special Election of St Edmund Hall, Oxford, a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, and a Fellow of the Academea Europea. He was awarded an OBE in 2008 for services to Neuroscience.

Paul was appointed Chair of the UK Medical Research Council (MRC) Neurosciences and Mental Health BoardHe is an NIHR Senior Investigator. His research addresses mechanisms of failure of glial-neuronal homeostatic mechanisms in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease and in progressive multiple sclerosis. He always is pleased to hear from interested prospective students, scientists or others who share a common interest in helping science improve the lives of people with dementia and those of their families.

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Wisden, WilliamProfessor William Wisden

The benefits of sleep

Professor Wisden, MA, PhD, FMedSci, is Chair in Molecular Neuroscience in the Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College London. He is interested in three major problems in neuroscience:

-- Why do we sleep and how is sleep initiated and maintained?

-- What are the molecular and neuronal mechanisms underlying the loss of consciousness induced by general anaesthetics? And,

-- What is the molecular basis of neuropathic pain?

He uses a wide variety of techniques and model systems to investigate these problems, including confocal microscopy, real-time PCR, proteomic analysis with mass spectrometry and structural biology.

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Elliott, PaulProfessor Paul Elliott

Linking genetic, epidemiology and metabolic phenotyping in dementia in the context of ageing, environment and lifestyle

Professor Paul Elliott, MBBS, PhD, FMedSci, trained in clinical medicine and epidemiology as a Wellcome Trust Clinical Fellow at St Mary's Hospital London and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He studied for his PhD in Epidemiology on the INTERSALT Study under the mentorship of Professor Geoffrey Rose. He remained at the London School working as a lecturer, and subsequently as senior lecturer and reader in epidemiology before being appointed as Head of the Environmental Epidemiology Unit at LSHTM 1990. In 1995 he was appointed to the Chair in Epidemiology and Public Health Medicine at Imperial College London. 

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Grossman, NirDr Nir Grossman

Novel bioelectronics stimulation technologies

Dr Grossman develops neuromodulatory interventions for brain disorders by pioneering new tools and principles to impact the disease pathology via direct modulation of the underlying aberrant neural activity.

His research drives innovation through rigorous scientific exploration of common biophysical principles and rules underpinning the neural processing of electromagnetic stimulation, using natural bridges between advanced computational neuroscience and cutting-edge experiments, ranging from a single neuron cell to human behaviour.

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Samuel BarnesDr Samuel Barnes

The role of micro-circuit homeostasis in ageing and early-stage AD

Dr Barnes investigates why the aged brain is vulnerable to neurodegeneration in order to identify strategies that may alleviate this susceptibility.

His group focuses on homeostatic neural plasticity processes which are thought to be critical for healthy network function. The group uses a combination of voltage and calcium imaging, bioelectronics and electrophysiology to determine the efficiency and mechanisms of homeostatic plasticity processes in both the aged brain and the early stages of neurodegeneration.

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Marco BrancaccioDr Marco Brancaccio

Mechanisms of circadian dysfunction in Alzheimer’s disease

Dr Brancaccio investigates the molecular, cellular and circuit mechanisms underlying circadian function in health and disease.

His group focuses on understanding the mechanisms driving circadian misregulation in the early stages of dementia. His laboratory uses a wide range of techniques including live imaging and in vivo gene therapy to study and harness circadian brain function with the aim of delaying disease onset and progression.

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Yu YeDr Yu Ye

Protein homeostasis in cell stress and inflammation

Dr Ye completed his PhD at MRC-LMB, and held a Junior Research Fellowship and a Sir Henry Wellcome Fellowship at University of Cambridge and Harvard Medical School. He is excited to return to his alma mater, where he will untangle the molecular agents causing dementia with the ubiquitin-proteasome system.

The Ye Lab studies the interplay between the ubiquitin-proteasome system and amyloid proteins in biological systems. Using advanced fluorescence imaging techniques, the lab seeks to uncover the cellular mechanisms of restricting or reversing protein aggregation, and how malfunction of this system leads to neurodegenerative disorders.

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Nathan SkeneDr Nathan Skene
Seeking drug targets for neurodegenerative disease with genome-wide directional evidence


Nathan Skene completed his undergraduate degree in Artificial Intelligence and Cybernetics at the University of Reading, followed by an MPhil in Computational Biology at Cambridge. His PhD was at the Sanger Institute working with Prof Seth Grant on the Genes2Cognition programme. During his PhD he worked on analysing the transcriptomic changes seen in mice carrying a wide range of synaptic mutations.

He did his postdoc in the lab of Jens Hjerling-Leffler at the Karolinska Institutet, where he developed a series of method which made it possible to identify cell types underlying complex diseases using GWAS data. Skene joined Imperial College London in 2019 as an Edmond and Lily Safra Research Fellow. His interests lie in using human genetics to gain insight into the neurobiology of brain disorders and cognitive traits.

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Raffaella NativioDr Raffaella Nativio

Epigenetic pathways in healthy ageing and neurodegeneration

Dr Nativio's research investigates epigenetic mechanisms that confer stress resistance to age-related neurodegeneration. She completed her PhD at the University of Cambridge and postdoctoral research in the lab of Prof Shelley Berger at the University of Pennsylvania.

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Dr Alexi NottDr Alexi Nott

The role of genetic variation in brain ageing and disease

Alexi completed his PhD at University College London investigating the function of epigenetic regulators during brain development. During his postdoctoral fellowship at MIT he investigated the role of epigenetics in postnatal development and autism-related behaviors. His research at the University of California, San Diego examined epigenetic mechanisms underlying age-related brain disorders and he identified microglia as associated with the genetic risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
His research utilizes nuclei isolation methods and genome-wide sequencing approaches to examine the epigenome of brain cell types using patient-derived archived tissue. Functional interrogation of disease-associated gene regulatory regions will employ CRISPR DNA-editing technology of pluripotent stem cells derived into brain cell types. Using a combination of these approaches, Alexi will examine the epigenome of the human brain to understand how genetic variation contributes to age-related brain disorders.

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UK DRI Associate Member


Miia KivipeltoProfessor Miia Kivipelto

Miia Kivipelto, MD, PhD, is Professor (part time) of Neuroepidemiology and Head of Ageing and Epidemiology (AGE) Research Unit, School of Public Health at Imperial College London. She is also professor of Clinical Geriatrics at Karolinska Institutet (KI), Center for Alzheimer Research, and senior geriatrician and Director for Research & Development of Theme Ageing at Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden. Prof Kivipelto's frontline research findings have been published in leading journals (320+ publications, H-index 75) and she has received numerous prestigious national and international awards. She is often invited to leading global dementia and medical conferences and task forces, including the G8 Dementia Summit, OECD Mapping for big data, WHO ministerial meeting in Global actions against dementia and WHO dementia risk reduction guidelines working group, among others. Her involvement with the UK DRI will link the Institute further to the global neuroepidemiological network in AD and dementia.

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UK DRI Emerging Leader


Sarah MarziDr Sarah Marzi
Edmond and Lily Safra Research Fellow and UK DRI Emerging Leader


Epigenetic regulation of environmental and genetic risk in neurodegenerative disease


Sarah Marzi investigates how genetic and environmental risk factors regulate the epigenome to influence neurodegenerative disease. Her group focuses on cell-type specific regulatory consequences of environmental risk factors for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease and how these interact with genetic risk variants. The Marzi lab combines experimental genomic and epigenomic techniques with innovative statistical and computational analyses to understand gene regulatory mechanisms contributing to the earliest stages of disease.

Dr Marzi completed her PhD in complex disease epigenetics with Jonathan Mill at King’s College London and worked as a postdoc with Vardhman Rakyan at Queen Mary University of London. She joined the UK Dementia Research Institute at Imperial College London at the end of 2019 as an Edmond and Lily Safra Research Fellow to establish her independent research group.

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Multi-'omics Atlas Project


Dr Johanna Jackson

Jo Jackson

Advanced Research Fellow

Multi-'omics Atlas Project

 

Johanna Jackson is the scientific lead and senior project manager for the UK DRI Director's Strategic Initiative to develop an Alzheimer's Multi-'omics Brain Atlas. 
Learn more about MAP-AD 
here

Dr Jackson is the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion lead for the Department of Brain Sciences.

Operations team


Management team

Multi-'omics Atlas Project (MAP) team

Research staff


Research staff

Maria Tortora

Maria tortora

Maria Tortora
Research Associate

Emma Mee Hayes

Emma Mee Hayes

Emma Mee Hayes
Research Associate - Stem Cell Biology

Alan Murphy

Alan Murphy

Alan Murphy
Research Assistant in Computational Genomics

Dr Areesha Nazeer

Areesha Nazeer

Dr Areesha Nazeer
Research Associate

Huzefa Rupawala

black and white headshot of man smiling

Huzefa Rupawala
Research Associate in Biochemistry

Reuben Yaa

Reuben Yaa

Reuben Yaa
Research Associate

PhD Students


PhD Students

Co-Investigators


Co-Investigators

Alumni


 

Alumni

Coskun Guclu

Coskun Guclu

Coskun Guclu
UK DRI Project Officer

Dr Alexandra Phillips

Dr Alexandra Phillips

Dr Alexandra Phillips
Research Associate- Matthews Lab

Dr Amy Smith

Dr Amy Smith

Dr Amy Smith
Research Associate- Matthews Lab

Dr Mahdi Maradi Marjaneh

Dr Mahdi Maradi Marjaneh

Dr Mahdi Maradi Marjaneh
Senior Bioinformaticist- Matthews Lab

Dr Maksym Kopanitsa

Dr Maksym Kopanista

Dr Maksym Kopanitsa
In Vivo Lead UK DRI

Karen Davey

Karen Davey

Karen Davey
Senior Research Assistant- MAP