Institutional Research Information Service
UCL Logo
Please report any queries concerning the funding data grouped in the sections named "Externally Awarded" or "Internally Disbursed" (shown on the profile page) to your Research Finance Administrator. Your can find your Research Finance Administrator at https://www.ucl.ac.uk/finance/research/rs-contacts.php by entering your department
Please report any queries concerning the student data shown on the profile page to:

Email: portico-services@ucl.ac.uk

Help Desk: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/ras/portico/helpdesk
 More search options
Dr Dunxin Shen
UCL Institute of Healthy Ageing
Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment
University College London
Dr Dunxin Shen profile picture
  • Research Fellow
  • Genetics, Evolution & Environment
  • Div of Biosciences
  • Faculty of Life Sciences
Originally from China, I went to the United States for my PhD degree in pharmaceutical sciences at Washington State University and graduated in 2020. My PhD project was focusing on designing and synthesizing small molecules for the potential treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, where I got in touch with fruit flies for the first time, using them as disease models to test the pharmacological effects of my synthesized molecules. Realizing that fruit fly is a powerful, efficient while economical tool, I joined as a research fellow in 2021 to focus on utilizing fruit flies to trace the transcriptomic changes in each single brain cell caused by the C9orf72 expansion mutation. 
Research Summary

Our lab has received funding from the MRC to carry out single cell sequencing of brains of fly models of C9orf72 hexonucleotide (C4G2) repeat expansion toxicity. The mutation in the C9orf72 gene with a hexanucleotide repeat has been reported multiple times to be the most common genetic cause of FTD and ALS (Frontotemporal Dementia and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), both of which are devastating neurodegenerative diseases having no cures currently. Our lab previously created fruit fly models expressing 36(C4G2) repeats, these are highly toxic to adult neurons of fruit flies. This is one of the most commonly used fly models of disease.


FTD and ALS, like many neurodegenerative diseases, display selective neuronal vulnerability: only some neuronal population succumb to disease, even though the toxic species are ubiquitously expressed. Our lab proposes to identify which neuronal populations are selectively depleted in response to expression of the repeats and analyse which pathways are activated in vulnerable and resistant neuronal population using our fly model of disease. This will be done by scRNA sequencing across multiple timepoints, tracking disease development. Identified pathways will be validated in mouse models of disease in collaboration with Adrian Isaacs at the Dementia Research Institute at UCL.  

Some IRIS profile information is sourced from HR data as explained in our FAQ. Please report any queries concerning HR data shown on this page to hr-services@ucl.ac.uk.
University College London - Gower Street - London - WC1E 6BT Tel:+44 (0)20 7679 2000

© UCL 1999–2011

Search by