Imperial College London


Faculty of MedicineDepartment of Brain Sciences

Research Associate







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.



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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