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My connections

Emma Whiteley


DPhil Student

  • Funded by the Alzheimer’s Society

Human induced-pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC) technology is now enabling us to investigate human synaptic connections in health and disease. This is a particularly powerful approach when comparing neurons derived from healthy individuals and those derived from patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

Synaptic dysfunction has been widely demonstrated in AD animal models and commonly manifests as alterations in long-term synaptic plasticity. My project focuses on the use of patient iPSC-derived cortical neurons harbouring familial AD mutations to investigate synaptic phenotypes using electrophysiological, optogenetic and molecular approaches. I am also exploring approaches to generate more mature, synaptically-connected human cortical neurons from iPSCs.

 

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