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Dr Ralph Andre
306
UCL Institute of Neurology
Queen Square House
London
WC1N 3BG
Appointment
  • Senior Research Fellow
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases
  • Institute of Neurology
  • Faculty of Brain Sciences
Biography

I graduated with a degree in Biology from the University of Manchester, following which I received an MRC-CASE studentship  to undertake my PhD studies with Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell on cytokine signalling in the initiation and regulation of neuroinflammatory responses in the brain. In 2006, I joined the Department of Neurodegenerative Disease at the UCL Institute of Neurology as a post-doctoral Research Associate with Professor Sarah Tabrizi to develop new cellular models of human prion diseases and investigate the role of cellular proteolysis, including the ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS) and autophagy, in prion disease pathogenesis. Since 2011, I have worked  as part of the Huntington’s Disease Research Group, researching the role of the innate immune cell system in Huntington’s disease (HD) pathogenesis and the development of novel HD stem cell models.
 
I have authored peer-reviewed research papers in Journal of Clinical Investigation, Journal of Experimental MedicineBrain, EMBO Journal and Nature Communications.

Research Summary

My research focuses on the cellular effects of the Huntington's disease (HD) causing mutation in the huntingtin (HTT) protein and the potential role of inflammatory processes during neurodegeneration. Human stem cell and primary cell cultures are used to study the effects of mutant HTT on intracellular signalling, trafficking and proteolysis, gene expression, and inter-cellular interactions. I maintain an interest in strategies to modify and biomarkers of disease progression in HD, and aim for my basic research to inform these studies. 

Present studies include the role of the
innate immune cell system in HD pathogenesis and the development of novel HD stem cell models. The effects of HD on innate immune cells are being examined in patients and transgenic mouse models, with particular focus on inflammatory cytokines and intracellular signalling pathways, and the shared features of myeloid cells (monocytes, macrophages, microglia) in the periphery and the CNS. Studies into the interactions between HD myeloid cells and neurons, and other aspects of HD cell biology, are being facilitated by the development of novel human stem cell models.

Teaching Summary

I lecture on the UCL Division of Biosciences MSc in Neuroscience course and supervise projects as part of the UCL Institute of Neurology MSc in Clinical Neuroscience programme.

Academic Background
2004 PhD Doctor of Philosophy – Neuroscience University of Manchester
2001 BSc Hons Bachelor of Science (Honours) – Biology University of Manchester
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