Profile – Dr Katharine Askew

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Dr Katie Askew

Job Title:

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Place of work / study:

Horsburgh Lab, The University of Edinburgh

Area of research:

Neuroinflammation in vascular cognitive impairment

How is your work currently funded:

Working as part of an Alzheimer’s Research UK Program Grant

Tell us a little about yourself:            

I did my PhD at the University of Southampton with Diego Gomez-Nicola and Hugh Perry looking at mechanisms controlling the turnover of the innate immune cells of the brain, microglia, in the healthy brain and in ageing. I’m now halfway through my first postdoc at the University of Edinburgh where I’m now working in a model of vascular cognitive impairment. We’re interesting in trying to understand how microglia contribute to white matter damage in response to reduced blood flow – it’s been super interesting transitioning into a new field and I’ve learnt a lot so far!

Tell us a fun fact about yourself:

I have two house bunnies called Lola and Floki – I got Lola at the start of my PhD (her official title is now Queen Dr Lola Flufflebutt) and Floki (named after Floki the boat builder in the TV show Vikings) was a more recent addition to the family at the start of my postdoc. I spend most of my time talking about them and if you ever meet me in person I will try and show you 100000 photos of them mostly doing the same thing (sorry not sorry).

Why did you choose to work in dementia?

In all honesty, I kind of fell into it. My PhD was focused mostly on mechanisms in health but the rest of my lab was working on Alzheimer’s models so I was sort of involved in dementia research there. When looking for postdocs, I was mostly interested in staying in microglial biology but was aware that transitioning into disease research would have more ‘longevity’ and it would be good to do something new. I came across the advert for my postdoc by chance, applied and now here I am!

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