Institute of Neuroscience

Staff Profile

Dr Daniel Erskine

Alzheimer's Research UK Fellow

Background

Qualifications

PhD, MRes, BSc (Hons)


Memberships

British Neuropathological Society


Independent financial support

£200k Alzheimer's Research UK Fellowship - lead applicant

EUR 100k La Fondation pour La Recherche sur Alzheimer - co-applicant

£5k Alzheimer's Research UK North West Research Network - co-applicant

£5k British Neuropathological Society - co-applicant

£5k Alzheimer's Research UK Northern Research Network - lead applicant

£5k Alzheimer's Research UK Northern Research Network - co-applicant


Esteem indicators

  • "How neuropathology can aid biomarker discovery", Invited Plenary Speaker, 1st Symposium on Neurodegenerative Diseases: Innovations in Biomarker Discovery Towards Personalized Medicine, April 2019, Qatar 
  • "Lewy bodies and clinical phenotype - an imperfect relationship", Invited Plenary Speaker, Qatar Biomedical Research Institute Seminar, January 2019, Qatar.
  • "Visual hallucinations in Lewy body disease", Invited Plenary Speaker, Early Career Hallucinations Research Conference, November 2018, London, UK
  • "Lewy bodies and clinical phenotype - an imperfect relationship", Invited Plenary Speaker, Great North Neuropsychiatry Conference, October 2018, Newcastle, UK.
  • "Lewy bodies and neurodegeneration", Invited Plenary Speaker, Third International Workshop on Human Brain Banking in China, May 2018, Hangzhou, China.
  • Review Editor, Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience, May 2018.
  • Panel member, Expert Meeting to Inform Consensus Guidelines on the Management of Visual Hallucinations, April 2018, Newcastle, UK.


Additional information

Committee member, IoN Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee


Neurodegenerative Pathology Research Group website

https://research.ncl.ac.uk/ndprg/ 



Research

Cerebral vulnerability

My main interest is in Lewy body diseases, the second most common form of neurodegenerative diseases after Alzheimer's disease, that are characterised by accumulations of the protein alpha-synuclein in some neurons termed Lewy bodies. Although Lewy bodies are thought to have a central role in Lewy body diseases, they do not form in all cell types and the relationship between Lewy bodies and cell death is imperfect. Much of my current work is attempting to understand factors that mediate cellular vulnerability to Lewy body formation and cell death, with a particular focus on cell-autonomous factors that may enhance or diminish such vulnerability. The aim of these efforts is to better understand how changes to the brain induce the symptoms of Lewy body disease, with important implications for designing disease-relevant model systems and neuroprotective agents.


Heterogeneity amongst alpha-synuclein aggregates

A related research theme is investigating whether distinct alpha-synuclein proteoforms occur between individual cases and across different cellular populations within the same individual. This work will address the often poor relationship between the burden of alpha-synuclein immunoreactivity labelled by antibodies recognising both native and pathological forms of the protein, and important clinical and pathological variables such as disease duration, symptom severity and cell death. The aim of these studies is to identify alpha-synuclein proteoforms of greatest relevance to disease, with potential applications in biomarker studies, interpretation of future neuropathological studies and identification of novel therapeutic targets.


Student supervision

Co-supervision of one PhD student, Alice Oliver-Evans, 'The role of the ascending reticular activating system in cognitive fluctuations in dementia with Lewy bodies'.

Supervision of undergraduate and master's research projects.


Teaching

MRes Neuroanatomy mini-group leader.

Lecture on research communication and dissemination as part of the Research Student Development Programme.

Laboratory training of undergraduate, MSci and MRes students during their laboratory placements.

Publications