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See behind the scenes in dementia research labs with Dr Francesco Tamagnini, Dr Franziska Guenther and Dr Nora Bengoa-Vergniory from our Thames Valley Research Network.

This session features footage from the labs in Oxford and Reading, and a Q&A session with the researchers.

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Franziska Guenther

Dr Franziska Guenther is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Oxford. She will take you behind the scenes of our Oxford Drug Discovery Institute, where scientists are trying to develop new treatments for dementia. She will show you the journey from how a molecule is made through to how it is tested and characterised to see if it holds potential as a treatment.

mark dallas

Dr Mark Dallas is an Associate Professor and leads a dementia research group at the University of Reading. As Coordinator of the Thames Valley Research Network, he will give a brief overview of the range of dementia research currently taking place across the network and highlight particular successes.

Dr Nora Bengoa-Vergniory

Dr Nora Bengoa-Vergniory is a Research Fellow at the University of Oxford. She will be showing us how scientific advances are helping to build our understanding of the diseases that cause dementia. Nora will showcase live brain cells created  from donated skin cells using stem cell technology. She will talk about how she uses this technology to study how and why toxic protein clumps form in the brain in dementia, and how different brain cells respond.

Dr Francesco Tamagnini

Dr Francesco Tamagnini is a Neurophysiologist and Lecturer in Pharmacology at the University of Reading. He will talk about his research measuring the electrical signals sent by nerve cells in the brain, and how these signals change in Alzheimer’s and other dementias. He will show the specialist equipment and techniques he uses in his experiments to measure how nerve cells are working - patch-clamp and 2-photon imaging.

Jane Thomas

Jane Thomas is an Oxford poet who is currently working on a pamphlet on the subject of Alzheimer’s, combining her lived experience with insight from researchers and clinicians working in the field. In 2020 she was commended in The Poetry Society Stanza Competition and shortlisted in the Rialto Open Pamphlet Competition. Jane will be performing a poem specially written for this event called Your Brain.


For more information or questions about the event, please email the Public Engagement team

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