Profile – Dr Karen Marshall

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Dr Karen Marshall

Job title:

Research Scientist

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.

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