Sustaining Innovation Postdocs and Projects

Dr Anna Poon

Biology-CNS, Astex Pharmaceuticals and University College London

There is accumulating evidence that perturbations of brain energy metabolism play a central role in ageing and neurodegenerative diseases (NDs). Thus, the study of mitochondria and cellular energy metabolism will enable a better understanding of the underlying metabolic malfunctions associated with the progression of numerous NDs. One of the major challenges in advancing our understanding of mitochondrial dysfunction in NDs is the lack of systems with biological relevance, sensitivity, and throughput. To address this, I am establishing neuronal models derived from human pluripotent stem cells and genetically manipulating ND-causing mutations to investigate mitochondrial function, dynamics, and clearance in human neurons during ageing and progression of NDs. Mitochondria-associated processes are assessed in normal and disease neurons using a combination of omics approaches and high-content/ throughput screening systems such as the Opera Phenix imager.