Simon Drew's research aims to characterise the properties of proteins involved in neurodegenerative diseases, including their interaction with metal ions, membranes and free radicals. By first studying model systems in detail, hypotheses are generated regarding biological function that are tested in vitro and in vivo.
His current research themes include:
- Functional roles of N-truncated β-amyloid in copper homeostasis
- The role of free radicals in creation of infectious prions
- Metal bridging interactions in protein aggregation
- In vivo near infrared brain imaging
His lab employs a variety of fundamental techniques in physics and chemistry that are complemented with biological models of disease.
A glimpse at our researchThe mechanism of de novo prion formation
Scientists in the Neurodegeneration division interrogate how neurones live, die and can be rescued to improve brain function in degenerative conditions such as Parkinson’s and Motor Neuron Diseases. There is no effective treatment for Motor Neurone Disease and the incidence of Parkinson’s Disease is rising alarmingly in our aging community. Gene abnormalities, energy deprivation, toxic rubbish accumulation and inflammation all contribute to a toxic environment for brain cells. Our teams study these events in animal models and cultured cells, with a view to translating knowledge into new therapies for human patients.