Researcher biography

I have had the opportunity to investigate different aspects of brain dysfunction in a variety of labs around the world. First, I gained experience with neurodevelopmental and neurodegeneration research during my BSc and MSc at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada. Specifically, my research on prion diseases sparked my interest in neurodegeneration and the mechanisms behind brain deterioration. I then pursued a PhD in Tübingen, Germany in the lab of Professor Mathias Jucker in 2014 (Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research and the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases-DZNE). Here, I focused on the biochemical features of pathological protein deposits called senile plaques that are associated with Alzheimer's disease and are made up of β-amyloid protein. My colleagues and I discovered that different subtypes of Alzheimer's disease have distinct plaque features and that the earliest forms of deposited β-amyloid protein are uniquely influential in initiating a disease cascade.

During my PhD, I became intrigued by the heterogeneity in neurodegenerative disease both for onset and diversity of symptoms. The concept of genomic/cellular mosaicism within the brain and how this could influence an individual's brain dysfunction appeared as an exciting idea to follow. I joined the lab of Professor Geoffrey Faulkner in early 2018 to pursue this link between mosaicism and neurodegeneration in age-related diseases like Alzheimer's disease.