I completed my Medical Degree at the University of Nottingham in 2007, and thereafter my early clinical training within the East Midlands. In 2009 I left the UK to work at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, investigating the role of environmental insults on the developing brain which instigated my interest in the role of inherited and acquired factors in neurodegeneration. In 2010 I returned to the North-East to work as an Academic Clinical Fellow within Professor Chinnery’s laboratory and completed my general medical training within the Deanery, before obtaining a National Training Number in Neurology in the region. I currently work as a Clinical Research Associate within the group, and an Honorary neurology registrar.
The role of inherited and acquired mutations in neurodegenerative diseases
Principal Investigators: Professor Patrick Chinnery
Other staff members involved: Dr Chris Morris, Dr Marzena Kurzawa-Akanbi, Dr Helen Griffin
My research primarily focuses on trying to understand the genetic aetiology of both ostensibly sporadic neurodegenerative diseases and those on in families with rare neurodegenerative conditions. Understanding the genetic basis of these diseases enables the opportunity for us to gain a greater insight into the underlying mechanisms of disease which are vital in order to begin to develop treatment for patients.
My secondary research interest is in understanding the contribution of both inherited and acquired mitochondrial DNA mutations in neurological ageing, which remains the major risk factor for all neurodegenerative diseases. Understanding this process in greater detail is vital in order to understand the development of late onset diseases.
To achieve both of my research aims I primarily use next-generation sequencing technology together with a mixture of laboratory techniques based in the Institute of Genetic Medicine. In addition, as a Neurology Registrar within the region, I am also involved in the clinical assessment and care of patients, which enables a strong translational focus to my work.