Profile – Dr Sarah Ryan, University of Manchester

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Dr Sarah Ryan


Dr Sarah Ryan

Job title:

Alzheimer’s Society Research Fellow

Place of work / study:

University of Manchester

Area of Research:

Mechanisms of neurodegeneration in frontotemporal dementia

How is your work funded:

Through an Alzheimer’s Society Research Fellowship.

Tell us a little about yourself:

I’m a Yorkshire-born neuroscientist who ended up on the wrong side of the Pennines in the name of dementia research and hasn’t looked back since. I’ve been working on the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying neurodegeneration in FTD for the past few years, with particular focus on C9orf72. More recently I’ve developed an interest in the role of microglia in FTD, and how the immune system contributes to disease pathogenesis.

Outside of the lab I enjoy public engagement, hiking, playing board games and spending too much time on Twitter.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself:

I’m known for throwing elaborate themed fancy dress parties with over the top decorations. Previous themes include a Harry Potter 30th, an Alice in Wonderland-inspired vodka tea party, a prehistoric cave warming and a “Winter Is Depressing” party involving beachwear with the heating on in February.

Why did you choose to work in dementia?

I first became interested in neuroscience as a young teen when I realised that everything about us from our memories to personality and consciousness is just a series of electrical and chemical events going on inside our brains. I was particularly fascinated by what happens when these cognitive processes go wrong, which led me to study of dementia. Learning more about the personal experience of dementia from the families of those affected, and later through experience in my own family, strengthened my commitment to play my part in finding new treatments.

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