Amelia Lu

Biography

I completed my undergraduate studies in China and came to the UK for my master study in molecular medicine in York. After finishing my master, I felt that I had a strong interest in Parkinson’s related research and came to the Wellcome Centre for Mitochondria Research to work on a PhD project about the mitochondrial changes inside PD using human post mortem tissue

Research Focus

Identifying the mechanism behind mitochondria changes in cholinergic neurons of the pedunculopontine nucleus in patients with Parkinson’s disease

Deleted mtDNA is detected in post-mortem tissue from PD patients, and decreased mitochondria-related protein expression has been seen in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc) and pedunculopontine nucleus (PPN). These brain regions are linked to the symptoms seen in PD. Much of the previous research has been done in the SNpc, and the PPN only came into the spotlight recently. The PPN is a complex region, and its detailed function remains unknown. It consists of numerous neuron types. Cholinergic neurons are the main population affected in most PD cases. This research focuses on the relationship between mitochondrial DNA changes and cholinergic neuron loss in PD.