• 4 SOUTH 1.46

Accepting PhD Students

1992 …2021

Research output per year

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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. 

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Projects

Research Output

Microglia and the aging brain: are senescent microglia the key to neurodegeneration?

Angelova, D. M. & Brown, D. R., 1 Dec 2019, In : Journal of Neurochemistry. 151, 6, p. 676-688 13 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

2 Citations (Scopus)

Altered Processing of β-Amyloid in SH-SY5Y Cells Induced by Model Senescent Microglia

Angelova, D. & Brown, D., 19 Dec 2018, In : ACS Chemical Neuroscience. 9, 12, p. 3137-3152 16 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
File
  • 4 Citations (Scopus)
    199 Downloads (Pure)

    Levels of α- and β-synuclein regulate cellular susceptibility to toxicity from α-synuclein oligomers

    Angelova, D., Jones, H. & Brown, D., 1 Feb 2018, In : FASEB Journal. 32, 2, p. 995-1006 12 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    File
  • 3 Citations (Scopus)
    38 Downloads (Pure)

    Model Senescent Microglia Induce Disease Related Changes in Alpha-synuclein Expression and Activity

    Angelova, D. & Brown, D., 1 Aug 2018, In : Biomolecules. 8, 3, p. 1-25 25 p., 67.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 3 Citations (Scopus)

    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
  • 6 Citations (Scopus)
    113 Downloads (Pure)

    Thesis

    Cell death in prion disease

    Author: Uppington, K., 1 Jun 2008

    Supervisor: Brown, D. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD

    File

    Inducing Age Related Changes in Microglia as a Model for Neurodegenerative Disease

    Author: Angelova, D., 13 Feb 2019

    Supervisor: Williams, R. J. (Supervisor) & Brown, D. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD

    File

    Modulation of PrP Aggregation and Cellular Prion Transfer

    Author: Fontaine, S., 1 Mar 2010

    Supervisor: Brown, D. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD

    File

    Synucleins and their roles in the pathology of Parkinson’s disease as metal binding proteins

    Author: Wang, X., 1 Jul 2009

    Supervisor: Brown, D. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD

    File

    The metallochemistry of the prion protein

    Author: Davies, P., 1 Apr 2009

    Supervisor: Brown, D. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD

    File