Research Projects

Chemical communication between nerve cells in dementia

Awarded to:
Dr Federico Dajas-Bailador

Current award:

University of Nottingham

15 January 2022 - 14 November 2022

Full project name:

sncRNAs in EVs from patient-derived iPSC neurons: biomarker signatures and therapeutic targets?






Nerve cells need to communicate with each other to ensure healthy brain cell growth and function.

One way nerve cells communicate is by transferring different molecules from one cell to another. These include different types of molecules called RNAs, all of which play an important role in keeping nerve cells healthy. To pass RNA between nerve cells, the molecules are transferred in protective packages called vesicles.

Dr Federico Dajas-Bailador at the University of Nottingham is studying how nerve cell communication may be disrupted in people with dementia. To do this, Dr Dajas-Bailador will grow nerve cells in the lab to represent nerve cells in people with dementia and people without dementia. He will specifically look for differences in the types of RNA molecule passed between the nerve cells.

To test if certain RNAs affect nerve cell function, Dr Dajas-Bailador will measure the effects of different molecules on mouse nerve cells. This will provide evidence for how specific RNAs affect nerve cell growth and brain health.

This research could pave the way to identifying new profiles or ‘biomarkers’ of dementia, making diagnosis and treatments easier in the future.

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Dementia is one of the world’s greatest challenges. It steals lives and leaves millions heartbroken. But we can change the future.