Single Molecule Strategies for Studying Neurodegenerative Disease

Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease are major neurological disorders with a large economic, societal and personal burden. There is still no objective diagnostic test that can be employed before the identification of observable clinical manifestations. These diseases are strongly linked to protein aggregation, so my project aims to use these protein aggregates as a basis for diagnosis and study of neurodegenerative disease. These protein aggregates, however, are exceptionally hard to detect, as they are typically present at pico-molar concentrations in a clinical sample. To overcome this challenge, we employ highly selective single molecule detection in the form of label-free nanopore sensing and fluorescence microscopy. This technology can provide novel methods of identifying disease biomarkers for diagnostics, and pave the way for a broad range of techniques to study pathogenesis.


2014-2018 MChem BSc in Medicinal Chemistry, University of Leeds