Clinical Lecturer in Neurology
- Honorary Specialist Registrar
I studied Clinical Medicine at Girton College, Cambridge and St Anne's College, Oxford and graduated in 2009. I did my junior medical training in Oxford and Glasgow, and trained as a neurology registrar in Oxford, Southampton and London. I completed my DPhil in Oxford in 2017 under Professor Kevin Talbot, and became Clinical Lecturer in Oxford in 2018.
My research aims to understand the biological processes that give rise to motor neuron disease and the related condition of frontotemporal dementia at the cellular and molecular level, specifically using advances in high-throughput sequencing technologies and computational biology to address these questions. I am particularly interested in the development of tools that will allow us to understand why certain cell types are affected by these conditions, whereas others are relatively spared.
I use induced pluripotent stem cell-derived neurons to understand how certain pathogenic genetic variants (C9orf72, TDP-43) can predispose certain cell types to the development of motor neuron disease, and am working to better understand the utility of this early neuronal model in the study of an adult neurodegenerative disease. I complement my cellular work with the molecular analysis of post-mortem samples using sequencing and other unbiased molecular techniques, and believe that a synergism between these two approaches can yield important insights into the pathophysiology of motor neuron disease.
Vahsen BF. et al, (2023), Nature Communications, 14
Scaber J. et al, (2023), European Journal of Neurology
Vahsen BF. et al, (2022), Scientific Reports, 12
Dharmadasa T. et al, (2022), Practical Neurology, 22, 107 - 116