Philip Smethurst
Position: Postdoc

Project: Is MND a prion disease?

 

Life in the Lab

I am a post doc in the lab and the focus of my research is on ‘TDP-43’ which is the most common abnormal protein found in the brains and spinal cord of patients with motor neuron disease. One idea is that this protein folds into an abnormal shape which adversely affects the motor neurons and cause them to die. It is thought that the protein acts in a similar way to a virus or bacteria, where it can replicate and spread throughout the brain causing the death of neurons. This is also how cells die in another type of brain disease called ‘prion disease’ an example you may have heard of is CJD. I am currently investigating whether or not the TDP-43 protein could work in a similar way by studying it in motor neuron cells in a dish.

Life outside the Lab

During my free time I like to compose and play contemporary/classical piano music. I also like to attend live music events and concerts. I also enjoy reading popular science literature, drawing, travelling and socialising with friends.




Helen Devine

Phd Student

Rubika Balendra

Phd Student

Daniel Coftas

Phd Student

Claire Hall

Phd Student

Martina Halleger

Postdoc

Jasmine Harley

Research technician

Luke Hill

Phd Student

Philip Smethurst

Postdoc

Rickie Patani

Lab Supervisor

Fredrique Rau

Postdoc