Identifying novel genetic networks functionally important for healthy ageing of neurons and synapses


The global population is living for longer periods, and so we are facing an enormous economical and social burden as our ageing population develops cognitive and neurodegenerative problems. Indeed, age is the primary risk factor for many dementias, but mechanisms connecting ageing and impaired cognition are not well understood. The goal of this project is to identify novel genetic pathways that preserve synaptic function in ageing mice. To achieve this goal the student will use an interdisciplinary approach combining electrophysiology and genomics. This work will allow us to understand novel mechanisms that preserve healthy synaptic function in old age.

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Matarin M, Salih DA, Yasvoina M, Cummings DM, Guelfi MS, Moreno Paublete R, Ali S, Perona M, Latcham J, Fulleylove M, Richardson JC, Hardy J & Edwards FA. (2014) Changes in gene expression relate to pathology development in transgenic mouse models of dementia. Under review at Nature Neuroscience.


Cummings DM, Smits H, Joel Z, Hanan TA, Lugli EB, Davies CH, Di Daniel E, Richardson JC & Edwards FA. (2014) Early alterations in CA1 hippocampal synaptic transmission and morphology in the TASTPM mouse model of Alzheimer's disease. Will be submitted to Journal of Neuroscience.


Forabosco P, Ramasamy A, Trabzuni D Walker R, Smith C, Bras J, Levine AP, Hardy J, Pocock JM, Guerreiro R, Weale ME & Ryten M. (2013) Insights into TREM2 biology by network analysis of human brain gene expression data. Neurobiol Aging 34: 2699-714.


De Simoni A, Griesinger CB & Edwards FA. (2003) Development of rat CA1 neurones in acute versus organotypic slices: role of experience in synaptic morphology and activity. The Journal of Physiology 550: 135-147.


Salih DA, Rashid AJ, Colas D, de la Torre-Ubieta L, Zhu RP, Morgan AA, Santo EE, Ucar D, Devarajan K, Cole CJ, Madison DV, Shamloo M, Butte AJ, Bonni A, Josselyn SA & Brunet A. (2012) FoxO6 regulates memory consolidation and synaptic function. Genes & Development 26: 2780-801.

Biological Areas:



Animal disease, health and welfare