Lipid Biomarkers Discovery: From Lysosomal Storage Disorders To Neurodegenerative Diseases

Vacancy Reference Number
Closing Date
22 Feb 2019
Scholarships include fees at Home/EU rate and a maintenance stipend at UKRI rates
maximum period of three years

Project summary:
Mounting evidence suggest that dysfunction of mitochondria, of the autophagy-lysosome system and of vesicle trafficking pathways play an important role in the pathobiology of neurodegenerative diseases. Lipids are key components of these systems being critically involved in membrane structures. Lipid molecules also provide an energy store in cells and act as signalling molecules within and between cells. Hence, lipid profiles, both intracellular and secreted, are relevant indicators of cellular homeostasis.

Abnormal lipid metabolism is a common feature of numerous lysosomal storage disorders (LSDs), some of which have established phenotypic and genetic links to Parkinson’s Disease (PD) and Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). For example, the lysosomal disorder Gaucher disease is caused by mutations in the glucocerebrosidase gene (GBA), which results in accumulation of glucosylceramide and also high cellular cholesterol levels. Interestingly, mutations in GBA are a leading genetic risk factors for PD. We want to determine whether lipids can serve as potential biomarker for different neurodegenerative diseases. We will exploit mass spectrometry (MS)-based lipidomic methods for the unbiased quantitative profiling of lipids in human biospecimens.

Application Process:
Details of the application process can be found here.

Further Information

Contact Details

Professor Yuqin Wang

Professor William Griffiths

Professor Mike Gravenor