Translational Neurodegeneration Group

The goal of our group is to discover and translate new drugs and biomarkers for patients with neurodegenerative diseases, specifically dementia. We conduct research across the translational spectrum, including cell culture, animal physiology, fluid and imaging biomarkers, and clinical trials, to better understand disease mechanisms and identify therapeutic targets.

Our areas of focus include cell death mechanisms, vascular control and brain metabolism, with techniques including bioinformatics and statistics, in vitro and in vivo physiology, and cellular and molecular biology.

Research interests

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Ferroptosis
  • Biomarkers
  • Brain metabolism
  • Vascular physiology

  • Cell culture
  • Myograph
  • In vivo hemodynamics
  • Mouse behaviour
  • Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry

About our research

The our group specialises in bi-directional research translation. This involves both translation of laboratory research into new treatments and biomarkers, and reverse translation of clinical research uncovering associations for mechanistic discovery science. Our research program has led to new clinical trials and studies, and informed new directions for discovery research.

The approach to research is highly collaborative and interdisciplinary and is underpinned by external partnerships with major clinical studies throughout the world extend.

Our group’s work focuses on three key areas:

  • cell death mechanisms
  • vascular physiology/pharmacology
  • brain metabolism.

Research team

Research team head

Team members

Research fellows

Research and technical staff

  • Emilio Werden
  • Celeste Mawal
  • Scarlett Parker
  • Linda Cornthwaite

PhD students

  • Andrew Gleason

Masters students

  • Laeeq Hamid
  • Eva Geerts

Selected publications

  • Alves F, Kalinowski P, Ayton S (2023), ‘Accelerated brain volume loss caused by anti–β-amyloid drugs: a systematic review and meta-analysis’, Neurology, 100(20):e2114-e2124, doi:10.1212/wnl.0000000000207156
  • Ayton S, Janelidze S, Kalinowski P, Palmqvist S, Belaidi AA, Stomrud E, Roberts A, Roberts B, Hansson O, Bush AI (2022), ‘CSF ferritin in the clinicopathological progression of Alzheimer’s disease and associations with APOE and inflammation biomarkers’, Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry, 94(3):211-219, doi:10.1136/jnnp-2022-330052
  • Belaidi AA, Masaldan S, Southon A, Kalinowski P, Acevedo K, Appukuttan AT, Portbury S, Lei P, Agarwal P, Leurgans SE, Schneider J, Conrad M, Bush AI, Ayton S (2022), ‘Apolipoprotein E potently inhibits ferroptosis by blocking ferritinophagy’, Molecular Psychiatry, doi:10.1038/s41380-022-01568-w
  • Betrie AH, Brock JA, Harraz OF, Bush AI, He G-W, Nelson MT, Angus JA, Wright CE and Ayton S (2021), ‘Zinc drives vasorelaxation by acting in sensory nerves, endothelium and smooth muscle’, Nature Communications, 12(1):3296, doi:10.1038/s41467-021-23198-6
  • Ayton S, Portbury S, Kalinowski P, Agarwal P, Diouf I, Schneider JA, Morris MC, Bush AI (2021), ‘Regional brain iron associated with deterioration in Alzheimer’s disease: a large cohort study and theoretical significance’, Alzheimer’s & Dementia, 17(7):1244–1256, doi:/10.1002/alz.12282

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