Dr Ryan West
Principle Investigator / Research Fellow
Place of work / study:
Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience (SITraN)
Area of Research:
Molecular mechanisms of Dementia, Drosophila (fruit fly) models of Dementia
How is your work funded?
Alzheimer’s Society, ARUK, White Rose, SITraN
Tell us a little about yourself:
I am currently a group leader at the Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience (SITraN). Work in my lab uses fruit flies to study the molecular mechanisms underpinning neurodegenerative diseases, with a primary focus on an early-onset form of Dementia known as Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD). I did my PhD at the University of York (2010-2013) in the lab of Dr Sean Sweeney, before undertaking a Wellcome Trust funded discipline hopping fellowship in the Labs of Professor Alex Wade and Dr Chris Elliott. In 2017 I was awarded an Alzheimer’s Society Fellowship, allowing me to move to the University of Manchester in 2018. In November 2019 I was recruited to SITraN.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself:
Having severed a tendon in my hand during my PhD I learnt how to dissect flies one handed.
Why did you choose to work in dementia?
As part of my degree I had the opportunity to undertake an industrial placement year working as a member of Eli Lilly’s neurodegeneration drug hunting team. My time at Lilly inspired me to pursue a career in neurodegeneration research, resulting in me securing an Alzheimer’s Society funded PhD at the University of York. Since beginning my career in Dementia research both of my grandmothers were diagnosed with dementia, giving me greater insight into the true impact of dementia on individuals and their families.