Helen Devine
Position: PhD Student

Project: Why do motor neurons die in spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (Kennedy’s Disease)


Life in the Lab

I am using stem cells from patients to look at motor neurons in patients with spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA). This is a rare type of motor neuron disease caused by a problem in the Androgen Receptor (AR) gene. Patients with SBMA have difficulty with their speech and swallowing as well as weakness in their arms and legs. We don’t fully understand how the change in the AR gene causes motor neuron loss and there is currently no treatment for the condition.

In the Patani Lab we do a lot of public engagement about research in stem cells and motor neuron disease research. I really enjoy working with other members of the team to develop new ideas to start conversations between scientists and the public.

Life outside the Lab

I used to be a keen tennis player but I have had two children during my PhD so am spending less time running around a tennis court and more time running after them!

Related links

Google Scholar | Research Gate | LinkedIn | Twitter

Rickie Patani

Lab Supervisor

Yiran Wang

Postdoctoral researcher

Jasmine Harley

PhD student

Helen Devine

PhD Student

Oliver Ziff

PhD student

Camilla Højland Knudsen

PhD student

Ben Clarke

Visiting PhD student

Viren Pandya

PhD student

Doaa Taha

PhD student

Jacob Neeves

PhD student