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Personal profile

Research Interests

My research interest are focussed on the roles of glial cells such as astrocytes and microglia in brain homeostasis and disease. 

I also work within a group that aims to understand the pathogenesis of infectious diseases within the immune system. Particular interests include understanding host-pathogen interactions within the mucosal immune system, especially prion diseases and other gastrointestinal pathogens such as Salmonella and nematodes. Studies are also focused on the effects of host age on the function of the immune system and how this influences susceptibility to gastrointestinal pathogens.


Following completion of my BSc(Hons) in Biological Sciences with Neuroscience, I joined the Institute for Animal Health Neuropathogenesis Unit (IAH-NPU) Edinburgh, UK in 2000. I am currently employed as a Core Scientist (Research Fellow) in the Mucosal Host Pathogen Interactions & Prion Research and Neuropathology Groups as well as managing the Histology Facility at The Roslin Institute.

Research students


Emma Green (Advisor) 2020-

Reiss Pal 2020-


Clara Gomez-Dunlop 2022

Joe Reynolds 2020

Christianus Wijaya 2019


Claire Banner 2022

Rebecca Bruce 2021

Danica Ariyadasa-Sáez 2019

Laura Tetlow 2016

Caroline Wood 2015

Lester Thoo 2014

Kah Yap 2013

Mark Laloo 2013

Matthew Helsby 2012


Current Research Interests

Prion disease neuropathogenesis

Astrocyte heterogeneity in neurodegenerative diseases

Microglia role and immune memory in health and disease

Longitudinal gait analysis during neurodegenerative disease

My research in a nutshell

Prion diseases are prototypical protein-misfolding neurodegenerative disorders. Using this model we study how protein-misfolding within the brain results in activation of the supporting glia cells, impacts upon brain function and ultimately leads to loss of the connections (synapses) and death of brain cells (neurons). The goal of my research is to understand how this happens and how other infections and activation of the immune system may influence neurodegeneration. the ultimate goal of my research is to identify potential therapeutic treatments for these currently untreatable conditions.

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), The University of Edinburgh


Award Date: 14 Jul 2016

Neuroscience, Master of Science, University of Edinburgh


Bachelor of Science (Honours), The University of Edinburgh



  • RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Prion diseases
  • Dementia
  • Glia
  • QR180 Immunology
  • Innate immunity
  • Dendritic cells
  • Myeloid heamatopoeisis
  • QH426 Genetics
  • Conditional transgenesis


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