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Emma Wilson

My research focuses on understanding neurodegeneration, specifically investigating mitochondrial quality control and its role in the mechanisms of Parkinson’s Disease.  I conducted my PhD in the Whitworth and De Vos Labs at the University of Sheffield, here I investigated the role of phosphatidylinositols in mitophagy and mitochondrial morphology, using Drosophila models. During this time, I expanded my interest to encompass Mitochondria ER-Contact sites (MERCS) and I developed a split fluorescence protein system which can be used to visualise MERCS. I currently work in the Metzakopian lab within the Dementia Research Institute (DRI) at the University of Cambridge, developing an induced pluripotent stem cells (IPSC) differentiation protocol to generate enteric neurones; these cells can be used in high-throughput CRISPR/Cas9 screen to examine novel genes associated with Parkinson’s Disease. I have also continued my work on MERCS, combining CRISPR/Cas9 screening and split florescent proteins-based system to investigate novel genes involved with MERCS modulation.

Beyond this, I am interested in ‘open science’ and Early Career Research (ECR) development. I am a DRI ECR representative and I’m organising mentoring schemes, social activities and ongoing ECR-focused talks. Outside of science, I am a keen runner, training towards a half marathon and also a skilled Jitsuka, looking to achieve my instructor belt in the coming months.

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