• 4 SOUTH 1.46

Accepting PhD Students

20002018
If you made any changes in Pure these will be visible here soon.

Personal profile

Research interests

Our research focuses on proteins associated with neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and the so called prion diseases. Prion diseases include the notorious Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy and the human diseases vCJD, sporadic CJD and Fatal Familial Insomnia. However, despite the concern about these disease the prion protein is a harmless neuronal protein expressed in all vertebrates. Our group is concerned with the normal function of this protein. The prion protein is a copper binding protein which appears to be involved in cellular resistance to oxidative stress. Only when the protein is converted to an abnormal isoform is it capable of inducing neuronal death. Alpha-synuclein can also be converted to a toxic form by its interaction with copper. We are currently studying the mechanism of this process.

Protein Studies

Research from our group has been instrumental in showing that the prion protein is a copper binding protein. Our current research includes new directions to study other metal binding proteins associated with neurodegenerative diseases. We have been studying the synuclein family of proteins and the copper and iron binding abilities. We are further investigating the metal binding of these proteins using exciting techniques such isothermal titration calorimetry, EPR and cyclic voltammetry. In particular, the redox chemistry of these proteins on binding metals is important to determine, as all three diseases are associated with oxidative damage to the brain.

Cell Studies

We also use cell culture to investigate the function of proteins such as alpha-synuclein and APP. We have recently shown that alpha-synuclein is active in cells to reduce iron to Fe(II). We are investigating the further implications of this exciting breakthrough.

Current Funding

  • Alzheimer's Research UK
  • BRACE

Coworkers

  • Dr. Jennifer McDowall
  • Hazel Roberts 

Willing to supervise PhD

Professor Brown welcomes any enquires regarding Ph.D. opportunities. The group is also open to collaborations with other researchers or industrial partners. 

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

  • 4 Similar Profiles
alpha-Synuclein Medicine & Life Sciences
Copper Medicine & Life Sciences
Prion Diseases Medicine & Life Sciences
Prions Chemical Compounds
Metals Medicine & Life Sciences
Manganese Medicine & Life Sciences
beta-Synuclein Medicine & Life Sciences
Neurodegenerative Diseases Medicine & Life Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2004 2018

Research Output 2000 2018

Open Access
File
Microglia
Amyloid
Processing
Aging of materials
Neurodegenerative diseases
1 Citations
File
beta-Synuclein
alpha-Synuclein
Oligomers
Toxicity
Poisons
Open Access
alpha-Synuclein
Microglia
Neurodegenerative diseases
Neurodegenerative Diseases
Conditioned Culture Medium
3 Citations

Alpha-synuclein ferrireductase activity is detectible in vivo, is altered in Parkinson's disease and increases the neurotoxicity of DOPAL

McDowall, J. S., Ntai, I., Honeychurch, K. C., Hart, J. P., Colin, P., Schneider, B. L. & Brown, D. 1 Dec 2017 In : Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience. 85, p. 1-11 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
File
alpha-Synuclein
Parkinson Disease
Dopaminergic Neurons
Substantia Nigra
Dopamine

Metals and Prions: Twenty years of mining the awe

Brown, D. 28 Apr 2017 Biometals in Neurodegenerative Diseases: Mechanisms and Therapeutics. White, A. R., Aschner, M., Costa, L. G. & Bush, A. I. (eds.). London, U. K.: Academic Press, p. 95-115

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter