Immune Basis of Neurologic Function and Circuitry

Lead Research Organisation: University College London
Department Name: Institute of Neurology


It is becoming increasingly clear that glial cells (astrocytes, oligodendrocytes and microglia) in the central nervous system and are essential for brain function. Astrocytes make up a large percentage of glial cells and perform a wide variety of functions such as maintenance of the blood-brain barrier and metabolism, neurovascular coupling, synaptogenesis, potassium and water homeostasis and modulation of synaptic function. Previously astrocytes have been thought to be a homogenous cell type, broadly classified into protoplasmic and fibrous astrocytes based on their morphological appearance and their locations in the grey and white matter respectively. However, recent single cell RNA-sequencing studies have identified that astrocytes are a heterogenous cell type showing transcriptional, functional and morphological changes with age, region and disease. This is not hugely surprising as astrocytes are intimately associated with a diverse group of neurons and are equipped to meet the demands of different neuronal niches. Discerning heterogenous profiles and functions of astrocytes in various brain regions is critical to understanding how our brain functions. I aim to unravel how glial cells including astrocytes and microglia work together to maintain and execute proper neural function.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
BB/T508408/1 22/01/2020 21/01/2024
2241745 Studentship BB/T508408/1 22/01/2020 21/01/2024 Dimitra Sokolova