Profile – Alex Mellor, University of Plymouth

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Alex Mellor


Emily McCann

Job title:

PhD Student

Place of work / study:

University of Plymouth

Area of Research:

Ischaemic brain injuries, including ischaemic strokes and vascular dementia.

How is your work funded?

Plymouth Dental Social Enterprise.

Tell us a little about yourself:

I am a second year PhD candidate in the Fern lab at the University of Plymouth. I did my masters at the Univeristy of Southampton, looking at spinal cord injury, before moving down to Plymouth to start my PhD looking at the link between chronic inflammation and ischaemic brain injury, particularly looking at the effects of inflammation on white matter.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself:

I spend my Saturdays playing back row for the local rugby club!

Why did you choose to work in dementia?

I became interested in white matter- an under-investigated part of the brain- during my masters, and wanted the opportunity to learn more about white matter biology. It is often overlooked in neurodegenerative disease research, but it is just as important to understand what goes wrong with white matter in disease. It was a natural step to move into dementia research, using my interest in white matter to help move forward knowledge of under-investigated aspects of dementia.

What single piece of advice would you give to an early career researcher?

Say yes to as much as possible. Doing a PhD is so much more than being in a lab- the more you engage with activities outside of your project, the more confidence you get for taking on the next steps once you finish your PhD.

What book are you reading right now? Would you recommend it?

The Body: A Guide for Occupants by Bill Bryson, I would definitely recommend- he has nailed the art of explaining the complexity of human biology!

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