Dr Daniel Erskine
Alzheimer’s Research UK Fellow
Place of work / study:
Area of Research:
Lewy body dementia neuropathology
How is your work funded?
Tell us a little about yourself:
My major research interest is in understanding cellular vulnerability in Lewy body disease: why Lewy bodies only seem to occur in some neurons but not others, and why only some neurons degenerate (and not only the ones with Lewy bodies!). My primary methods involve post-mortem analysis of human brain tissue, but I am increasingly moving towards developing novel model systems, with an overriding focus on using human cell and tissue models as the best platform for understanding a uniquely human disease.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself:
I am an enthusiastic, but not very good, road cyclist. I am also a father to a one year old, called Imogen.
Why did you choose to work in dementia?
Serendipity for the most part! I completed my undergraduate research project on rodent models of Lewy body dementia, using propagation of α-synuclein. As well as being fascinated by the proposed mechanisms of Lewy body formation, I was particularly driven by the fact that Lewy body dementia is hugely under-researched relative to its population prevalence. My motivation to work on dementia became more personal when my grandfather developed it, and ultimately succumbed in 2017. Witnessing first-hand the devastation wrought on an individual by dementia made me even more determined to work to make a meaningful change to people affected by dementia.