Stem-Cell Derived Cellular Models

With novel reprogramming methods that we apply to human skin cells, we can generate in the laboratory various cell types  of the human brain. We are currently developing advanced cellular models that combine culture of multiple cell types in 3D hydrogel matrices to try to best mimic – in a dish – how cells behave in the human brain.

Gene Editing

We use CRISPR-Cas9 technology to introduce in cells the same mutations found in people living with neurodegenerative disease. Using this approach, we can explore the effect of certain disease mutations on the function of proteins, cells and organisms.

Cellular Phenotyping

We characterize the morphology and physiology (e.g. oxidative metabolism, proliferation, survival, calcium flux, phagocytosis, etc) of our advanced cellular models using microscopy and a range of functional cell-based assays, available from the local cutting-edge microscopy facility and the Biodiscovery Institute.

Proteomics & Secretomics

We employ a range of mass spectrometry-based approaches including label-free (SWATH), labelled (TMT) and targeted (PRM) proteomics to identify and quantify intracellular and secreted proteins in various cell types and sample types (e.g. blood, cerebrospinal fluid, post-mortem brain tissue). We also have optimised workflows to explore post-translational modifications of proteins and protein-protein interactions.

Recombinant Protein-Based Assays

We can produce and purify  recombinant proteins in-house, which we use in an array of in vitro functional assays. By comparing function of both normal or disease-carrying proteins in parallel, we can pinpoint how specific mutations in proteins affect their structure and function.

In silico & In Vitro Drug Screening

We can use computational tools to screen for potential small molecules and compounds that could restore the normal function of proteins known to be dysregulated in neurodegenerative disease. We then test these predictions in our advanced cellular models, screening compounds from a range of commercial and locally-available drug libraries.