Dr Karen Marshall
Place of work / study:
University of Sussex
Area of Research:
Dementia (Alzheimer’s disease)
How is your work funded:
Industry (TauRx Therapeutics)
Tell us a little about yourself:
I have been working in the field of neurodegeneration since 2006 when I began my PhD looking at the structure of protein fibres found in diseases such as Alzheimer’s. I moved to Montana in the US to study prion diseases, for example Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and BSE, also know as mad cow disease, in cell models. I came back to Sussex in 2013 and continued as a cell biologist studying mechanisms of neurodegeneration in Alzheimer’s models. I have become particularly interested in how protein aggregates affect fundamental cellular mechanisms such as the endosomal-lysosomal pathway and mitochondrial function.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself:
Despite being tone deaf I am very keen on a spot of karaoke!
Why did you choose to work in dementia?
My original interest from studying Biochemistry at University was in how proteins fold up from linear chains into three-dimensional structures to perform particular functions. Uncovering the mechanisms that control this process fascinated me then (and still does). When I learnt that sometimes proteins misfold, and that this is linked to diseases that are caused by the death of brain cells, I was drawn into the field of dementia and trying to understand neurodegenerative diseases at a molecular level.