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Dr Dervis Salih
Neuroscience, Physiology & Pharmacology,
Anatomy Building, Gower St
London
WC1E 6BT
Tel: 020 7679 3254
Fax: 020 7679 0490
Appointment
  • Senior Research Associate
  • Neuro, Physiology & Pharmacology
  • Div of Biosciences
  • Faculty of Life Sciences
Biography

Senior research fellow of Alzheimer’s Research UK: Molecular Neuroscience and Electrophysiology 

Department of Neuroscience, Physiology and Pharmacology, University College London, UK
2013-

Research associate: Molecular Neuroscience and Electrophysiology 
Department of Neuroscience, Physiology and Pharmacology, University College London, UK
2012-2013

Research associate: Molecular Neuroscience and Ageing 
Department of Genetics, Stanford University, CA, USA
2010-2012 
  
Postdoctoral fellow: Molecular Neuroscience and Ageing 
Department of Genetics, Stanford University, CA, USA
2005-2010 

Postdoctoral research: Molecular Endocrinology and Physiology 
Babraham Institute, Cambridge, UK
2003-2005 

Ph.D. Molecular Endocrinology and Physiology 
Babraham Institute and Wolfson College, University of Cambridge, UK
1998-2003 

B.Sc. Molecular Genetics
King’s College, University of London, London, UK
1995-1998

Research Summary

I am dedicated to understanding the impact of ageing on cognitive decline during normal and pathological ageing. Age is the primary risk factor for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, but by the time Alzheimer's is diagnosed, substantial neuronal damage and loss has occurred. Current treatments come too late to tackle the irreversible changes, sometimes providing short term symptomatic benefits, but failing to combat the progression of Alzheimer's. The mechanisms linking ageing and age-dependent neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer's are poorly understood. Thus, understanding these diseases from the standpoint of ageing should provide new avenues to prevent and treat neurodegenerative disorders. The insulin/IGF pathway is a conserved pathway that coordinates ageing from worms to humans. Emerging evidence has revealed that insulin/IGF signaling has an important role in the brain in learning and memory, as well as in Alzheimer's. However, relatively little is known about the molecular mechanisms linking insulin/IGF signaling in the brain to cognitive function during normal and pathological ageing. An important class of downstream effectors of insulin/IGF signaling is the FoxO family of Forkhead transcription factors. FoxO factors are required for exceptional longevity in worms, flies, mice and even in humans. Among FoxO family members, FoxO6 is unique in that it is predominantly expressed in the brain, particularly in the hippocampus, a brain structure that is highly organised and critical for learning and memory. Throughout my research career, I have developed an interdisciplinary approach to tackle the problem of the ageing brain and neurodegeneration, by combining molecular biology, mouse genetics, genomics, stem cells, electrophysiology and behavioural studies. Most recently, I have discovered that FoxO6 is critical for memory consolidation in mice, and that FoxO6 induces a program of gene expression that coordinates synaptic function. In my current and future research, I am interested in identifying the earliest changes in molecular pathways that link ageing with Alzheimer's disease, with an interest in the insulin/IGF-FoxO pathway. I hope to gain insights into the earliest changes of molecular mechanisms that lead to the progression of cognitive decline during normal ageing and Alzheimer's, these insights are likely to be critical for developing tools to counteract the devastating effects of cognitive decline during both normal ageing and Alzheimer's disease.

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University College London - Gower Street - London - WC1E 6BT Tel:+44 (0)20 7679 2000

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