Project: My core goal is to understand molecular mechanisms of MND so that we can find a cure.
Life in the Lab
I see disease as a crime. In order to accurately investigate a crime scene, detectives meticulously examine each piece of evidence to try to reconstruct the events as far as possible, much like scientists examining a research question. The ideal situation for a detective is to have access to a frame-by-frame recording of the crime scene from the moments before it started, allowing a precise sequence of events to be established. This in turn allows the detective to both understand the cause of the problem and offer a targeted solution to stop similar crimes from occurring in the future.
These same principles hold true in science; remarkably, we can now ‘replay’ initiating disease events within any specific type of cell in the human body to understand how it becomes diseased in a specific patient. Using insights from a Nobel prize-winning discovery made about 10 years ago, we convert skin cells into ‘younger versions’ of any cell type within the human body. By ‘rewinding the clock’ in these cells and subsequently transforming them into different mature cell types, we can establish precisely when and where the problem begins, and which parts of the cell’s machinery are involved… Our lab is utterly committed to harnessing this unparalleled human experimental system to model disease ‘in a dish’ and ultimately discover new treatments for neurological diseases.
Life outside the Lab
I enjoy running, snooker, reading and cooking. I love nature and feeling connected to an evolving and dynamic world.
Camilla Højland Knudsen
Visiting PhD student