Imperial College London


Faculty of MedicineDepartment of Brain Sciences

Visiting Researcher







Burlington DanesHammersmith Campus





I am a research associate working on microglia heterogeneity in human dementia. I work with Professor Paul Matthews in the UK Dementia Research Institute at Imperial. We are using a combination of transcriptomics and histology to investigate the relationship of microglia with other brain cell types in early stages of disease. I also work closely with Dr David Owens’ group investigating the role of microglia in neuroinflammatory and neurodegenerative disorders. 

I previously worked as a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Oxford undertaking a project investigating early immune dysfunction in peripheral blood cells in Parkinson’s disease. I completed my PhD at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, where I studied the phenotypic diversity of adult human microglia.

Selected publications:

J. Rustenhoven et al. Isolation of highly enriched primary human microglia for functional studies. Scientific Reports 6 (2016) 19371.

A. M. Smith and M. Dragunow. The human side of microglia. Trends in Neurosciences 37:3 (2014) 125-35.

A. M. Smith et al. The transcription factor PU.1 is critical for viability and function of human brain microglia. Glia 61 (2013) 929-942.

A. M. Smith et al. M-CSF increases proliferation and phagocytosis while modulating receptor and transcription factor expression in adult human microglia. Journal of Neuroinflammation 10: 85 (2013).

A. M. Smith et al. Adult human glia, pericytes and meningeal fibroblasts respond similarly to IFNy but not to TGFβ1 or M-CSF. Plos One 8:12 (2013). 

H. M. Gibbons, A. M. Smith et al. Valproic acid induces microglial dysfunction, not apoptosis, in human glial cultures. Neurobiology of Disease 41 (2011) 96–103.



Feleke R, Reynolds RH, Smith AM, et al., 2021, Cross-platform transcriptional profiling identifies common and distinct molecular pathologies in Lewy body diseases, Acta Neuropathologica, Vol:142, ISSN:0001-6322, Pages:449-474

Smith AM, Depp C, Ryan BJ, et al., 2018, Mitochondrial dysfunction and increased glycolysis in prodromal and early Parkinson's blood cells, Movement Disorders, Vol:33, ISSN:0885-3185, Pages:1580-1590

Rustenhoven J, Smith AM, Smyth LC, et al., 2018, PU.1 regulates Alzheimer's disease-associated genes in primary human microglia, Molecular Neurodegeneration, Vol:13, ISSN:1750-1326

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