Wisden, WilliamProfessor William Wisden
Interim Centre Director

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?

- 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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Samuel BarnesDr Samuel Barnes
UK DRI Group Leader

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
UK DRI Group Leader

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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Eugene DuffDr Eugene Duff
UK DRI Centre Lead for Informatics
Advanced Research Fellow
Department of Brain Science, Imperial College London

Eugene Duff’s research focuses on analytic and computational challenges in resolving spatial and temporal properties of brain structure and function. He has worked extensively in neuroimaging, and at the UK DRI at Imperial College focuses on a variety of single cell and spatial transcriptomic techniques that can reveal genomic signatures of the emergence of dementia. His interests include inference on complex neurobiological datasets, multi-study integration and the development of reproducible analysis pipelines.  He works closely with Professor Paul Matthews, Dr Nathan Skene and other researchers in the centre.

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Elliott, PaulProfessor Paul Elliott
UK DRI Group Leader

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
UK DRI Group Leader

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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Jo JacksonDr Johanna Jackson
Alzheimer's Society Dementia Research Leader, UK DRI Emerging Leader
Department of Brain Sciences, Imperial College London

Dr Jackson’s focus is on identifying vulnerable synaptic components and investigating molecular mechanisms underpinning their vulnerability as well as examining the link to AD pathology and neuronal vulnerability. This enables the Jackson group to determine the impact of repurposed and novel synaptotherapeutics. Lastly, the group validates synaptic biomarker targets to track synapse loss and determine synaptotherapeutic drug efficacy.

The Jackson group takes a multi-‘omic and imaging approach to provide a mechanistic insight into the vulnerability of synaptic components in Alzheimer’s Disease. Their work uses a number of methodologies such as synaptic proteomics and transcriptomics, mass synaptometry and advanced imaging techniques such two-photon imaging and imaging mass cytometry.

In 2023, Dr Jackson was awarded a prestigious Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Leader Fellowship and the inaugural Carol Jennings Fellowship for her group to investigate vulnerable synaptic components to achieve her vision of therapeutically targeting the synapse in AD.

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Sarah MarziDr Sarah Marzi
UK DRI Group Leader (King's College London) and Honorary Senior Lecturer (Imperial College London)
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, and started as a Group Leader at Kings College London in September 2023.

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Professor Paul Matthews

Professor Paul Matthews
UK DRI Group Leader

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

Paul M. Matthews, OBE, DPhil, FRCP, FMedSci is an Edmond and Lily Safra Professor of Translational Neuroscience and Therapeutics, 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 their families.

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Dr Sophie Morse
Imperial College Research Fellow and UK DRI Emerging Leader

Dr Sophie Morse investigates how focused ultrasound can be engineered to modulate immune cell activity. Her group focuses on developing non-invasive and targeted technologies to modulate glial activity with the aim to treat, prevent or delay the onset of neurodegenerative diseases and age-related cognitive decline. The Morse lab seeks to uncover the level of control this ultrasound technology can achieve, the mechanisms behind this modulation and how this technology is best applied to achieve therapeutic benefits as we age.

Dr Morse completed her PhD in Biomedical Engineering developing a non-invasive focused ultrasound technology to deliver drugs to the brain efficiently and safely. She was then awarded an EPSRC doctoral prize fellowship and joined the UK Dementia Research Institute as an Imperial College Research Fellow. 

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Raffaella NativioDr Raffaella Nativio
Affiliated PI

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 Professor Shelley Berger at the University of Pennsylvania.

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Dr Alexi NottDr Alexi Nott
UK DRI Group Leader

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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Dr Cynthia Sandor
UK DRI Group Leader

Dr Sandor is an Edmond J. Safra Lecturer in Parkinson’s Disease. She also holds a UKRI Future Leader Fellowship.

Dr Sandor's research interest is in identifying accessible and early biomarkers, to aid in the detection of individuals living with Parkinson's within the general population. Working with various data types, including omics, digital, and neuroimaging, as well as multiple clinical and biobank datasets, her team develops statistical and machine learning approaches to predict who is at risk for Parkinson's disease. Her research aims to facilitate earlier intervention and deepen understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying Parkinson's disease, potentially paving the way for the development of neuroprotective treatments.

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Nathan SkeneDr Nathan Skene
UK DRI Group Leader
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 Professor 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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Yu YeDr Yu Ye
Affiliated PI

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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Operations team


Management team

Multi-'omics Atlas Project (MAP) team

Research staff


Research staff

PhD Students


PhD Students

Our Collaborators


Co-Investigators

Alumni


 

Alumni

Hannah Gowland

Hannah Gowland

Hannah Gowland
Project Officer

Parisa Mottaghi

Parisa Mottaghi

Parisa Mottaghi
PhD Student

Katarina Gregorovicsova

Katarina Gregorovicsova
Research Technician - Neuroepigenomics

Will Lunt

Will Lunt
Research Technician

Dr Combiz Khozoie

Combiz

Dr Combiz Khozoie
Senior Bioinformaticist

Joe Airey

Joe Sheppard

Joe Airey
Supervisor: Dr Sam Barnes

Dr Adesola Bello

Adesola Bello

Dr Adesola Bello
Research Assistant specialising in targeted mass spectrometry and metagenomics

Dr Antonio Berlanga

Dr Antonio Berlanga

Dr Antonio Berlanga
MRC Intermediate Research Fellow in Computational Biology

Dr Renaud Bussiere

Renaud Bussiere

Dr Renaud Bussiere
Research Associate in Circadian Biology

Daniel Clode

Daniel Clode

Daniel Clode
Research Technician - iPSC specialist

Dr Brenan Durainayagam

Dr Brenan Durainayagam

Dr Brenan Durainayagam
Research Associate in Metabolomics

Dr Marieke Hoekstra

Dr Marieke Hoekstra

Dr Marieke Hoekstra
Research Associate in Sleep/Circadian Distrubance

Dr Di Hu

Di Hu

Dr Di Hu
Research Associate

Dr Jian Huang

Jian Huang

Dr Jian Huang
Research Associate in Epidemiology

Dr Jose Torres Pérez

Jose Torres Perez

Dr Jose Torres Pérez
Research Associate

Dr Manuja Kaluarachchi

Manuja Kaluarachchi

Dr Manuja Kaluarachchi
Project Manager in Metabolomics

Dr Ibrahim Karaman

Dr Ibrahim Karaman

Dr Ibrahim Karaman
Research Associate in Chemometrics/Metabolomics

Dr Charlotte Luff

Charlotte Luff

Dr Charlotte Luff
Honorary Research Associate

Aisling McGarry

Aisling McGarry

Aisling McGarry
Research Technician

Dr Emma Mee Hayes

Emma Mee Hayes

Dr Emma Mee Hayes
Research Associate - Stem Cell Biology

Callum Muirhead

Callum Muirhead

Callum Muirhead
Research Technician - Hyperion Imaging System

Dr Areesha Nazeer

Areesha Nazeer

Dr Areesha Nazeer
Research Associate

Jiabin Tang

Jiabin Tang

Jiabin Tang
Supervisor: Prof Paul Matthews

Dr Ashwin Venkataraman

Ashwin Venkataraman

Dr Ashwin Venkataraman
Clinical Research Fellow

Dr Nanet Willumsen

Nanet Willemsun

Dr Nanet Willumsen
Senior Research Technician - MAP

Dr Anne Wolfes

Dr Anne Wolfes

Dr Anne Wolfes
Research Associate in Circadian Biology

Riad Yagoubi

Riad Yagoubi

Riad Yagoubi
PhD student - Matthews lab

Dr Nawal Zabouri

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Dr Nawal Zabouri
Neural Circuit Plasticity Lab Manager

Qi Zhong

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Qi Zhong
PhD student - Griffin/Brancaccio lab

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

Evelyn Martin

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Evelyn Martin
Research Assistant

Karen Davey

Karen Davey

Karen Davey
Senior Research Assistant- MAP

Lucy Bedwell

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Lucy Bedwell
Research Technician - Nott lab

Roxy Zhang

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Roxy Zhang
PhD student: Skene lab

Salman Fawad

Salman Fawad

Salman Fawad
MPhil student

Sasha Pokrovskaya

Sasha Pokrovskaya
Research Technician

Waleed Albihlal

Waleed Albihlal
Research Associate

Christina Petrides

Christina Petrides
Visiting Research Assistant

Teemu Ronkko

Teemu Ronkko
Research Technician

Dr Philippa Wells

Black and white headshot of Philippa smiling

Dr Philippa Wells
Research Associate - epigenetics of neurodegenerative disease

Yuqian Ye

Yuqian Ye
Research Technician