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Miss Lucrezia Bruno

Research project: The relation of metabolic dysfunction to microglial and CNS neuronal function

Abstract

Nerve cells in the brain malfunction and degenerate in dementia.  Research shows that obesity and diabetes are linked to a higher risk of developing dementia, but the reasons for this are not clear.  Whole body metabolic dysfunction effects both nerve cells and other brain cells called microglia (the brain's immune cells), which normally help to clear damage and infection.  There is good evidence that microglia are too active in the brains of people with dementia, and that this causes chronic inflammation.  Studies also suggest this could be linked to whole body metabolism. Recent studies have suggested some proteins that may link inflammation to fat tissue in obesity, but the cellular signalling mechanisms of this are not at all well understood. This project aims to investigate the metabolic requirements for specific nutrients in microglial cells and the effect of an obesogenic environment on microglial activation (inflammation), and will look at the cellular mechanisms/proteins which are responsible for these changes, with a view to providing a deeper understanding of these processes in neurodegeneration and dementia.

Biography

In 2017 I achieved a first class degree in Biomedical sciences from Kingston university. Successively, eager to increase my expertise and knowledge in biomedical research, I started a MRes course in Biomedical and Molecular science at King's college, which I completed with a merit in early 2019. I am now enrolling as a PhD student in Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology.

Areas of research interest

  • Diabetes
  • Neuroscience
  • Metabolism

Qualifications

  • Bsc Hons Biomedical Sciences
  • Master in Biomedical and Molecular sciences Reasearch

Funding or awards received

  • Kingston university studentship
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