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Biomedical research in a simple non-animal model

Project Description

Research in biomedical neuroscience generally employs mammalian tissue culture experiments to look at disease-related neuronal cell function. To simplify the complex biology occurring in these cells, we employ a biomedical model system - the social amoeba Dictyostelium - for this research. This model has a range of advantages including the ability to rapidly knockout genes and to analyse isogenic strains for changes in cell function, biochemistry and/or cell signalling. We employ this model in a range of projects including examining cell signalling related to diseases such as epilepsy, bipolar disorder and Alzheimer’s disease, and mecahnisms of taste perception. We also pursue various pharmacological projects including the design and testing of new therapeutic compounds based upon novel drugs and a wide range of natural products. PhD projects in our laboratory will relate to these areas of research.


Ludtmann et al (2014) An ancestral non-proteolytic role for presenilin proteins in multicellular development of the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum. JCS. 127(7):1576-84.

Waheed et al (2013) Naringenin inhibits the growth of Dictyostelium and MDCK-derived cysts in a polycystin-2 (TRPP2)-dependent manner. BJP.171(10):2659-70.

Robery et al (2013) A novel human receptor involved in bitter tastant detection identified using the model organism Dictyostelium discoideum. JCS, 126(23):5465-76

Chang et al (2013) Seizure control by ketogenic diet-associated medium chain fatty acids. Neuropharmacology, 69:105-14

Elphick et al (2012) Conserved valproic acid-induced lipid droplet formation in Dictyostelium and Human hepatocytes (huh7) identifies structurally active compounds. DMM, 5:231-40

How good is research at Royal Holloway, University of London in Biological Sciences?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 24.00

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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