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Interactions between adrenal steroids and beta amyloid in the regulation of neural stem cells


Alzheimer and disease (AD) is the leading cause of dementia in the elderly. Given their growing population in today s society, this debilitating disease is expected to pose an ever-increasing emotional and financial burden to patients, caregivers and health care services. To date, no therapeutic drugs are available to directly inhibit or reverse the disease process and current treatments provide only symptomatic relief.

A potentially more attractive approach would be to enhance regeneration of the brain through promotion of neurogenesis, to replace lost cells and brain functions. Two of the primary risk factors for AD, old age and stress, are associated with reduced neurogenesis. The proposed studies will explore the interactions between stress and age related steroids (glucocorticoids, dehydroepiandrosterone) and the AD neurotoxin, beta amyloid peptide, in the regulation of neurogenesis.

The goal is to gain
- a better understanding of neurogenesis regulation in a disease setting and
- insight into the etiology of AD with regard to development of new regenerative medicine.

The host has made significant contributions to disease-based neurogenesis research and the applicant has an outstanding background in animal studies of stress pathophysiology. We now wish to combine resources to explore the mechanistic link between stress and AD. The expertise of the applicant will be of great value to the host and the regulation of neurogenesis by the mediators of stress would be a natural progression of his research.

Glaxo SmithKline can provide state of the art facilities to support his training and he will learn a variety of in vitro stem cell techniques to complement his in vivo expertise. Interdisciplinary training in a top-level industrial research environment will provide the applicant with a unique occasion to facilitate his future career endeavours in the European scientific community.

Call for proposal

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