Proteins catalyse most of the reactions in the cell on which life depends. Translational control is defined as a change in protein production per mRNA per unit of time, and it is a powerful means to alter protein abundance. Our lab is particularly interested in understanding the molecular and signalling mechanisms of translational control in the brain and how they control complex brain functions and behaviours, such as learning, memory, social interactions, anxiety and fear and how they affect brain health (e.g. in neurodegeneration).
The complex polygenic nature of brain disorders, such as neurodevelopmental disorders (Autism Spectrum Disorders, fragile X syndrome, intellectual disability) neuropsychiatric disorders (depression, schizophrenia) and neurodegenerative disorders (Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease) along with the plethora of contributing non-genetic factors have impeded our efforts to understand and treat them.
By studying converging signalling, molecular and cellular pathways, we can shed fresh light on the causality of brain disorders.
Elucidating complex brain functions is key for designing novel therapeutics for NDs.
Using genetic, biochemical and electrophysiological analysis in human brain cells differentiated from patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSc), coupled with biochemical, electrophysiological and behavioural analysis in rodents, we wish to examine translational control as a key tenet in the pathophysiology of neurodevelopmental, neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative brain disorders.