Neurodegenerative diseases have devastating effects on individuals’ lives and our society, with no effective treatments available. This is particularly true for Alzheimer’s disease, which is multifactorial and develops over a relatively long time. The aetiology of the disease is poorly understood and is likely a combination of causative events and failure of neuroprotective mechanisms. However, relatively little research has focussed on the loss of neuroprotective mechanisms, which could be exploited to slow down or prevent the cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
Cellular signal transduction pathways are key regulators of learning in the healthy brain and are frequently mis-regulated in neurodegenerative disorders. Based on previous results and published evidence we hypothesise that disease progression involves the loss of neuroprotective mechanisms and that neuroprotection can be provided by the MAPK (mitogen-activated protein kinase) ERK5. In this project, you will therefore investigate the role of the ERK5 MAPK pathway in the brain using a number of innovative technologies, including biological model systems, biochemistry, molecular biology, modern imaging systems as well as proteomic technologies. This programme of work aims to establish ERK5 as a novel target for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders.
The research will take place at the School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, University of Bradford; a highly active research environment with an excellent track record in PhD training and completion. You will also be supported by an active, ongoing education program of seminars and student-led events.