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Dr Nathan Woodling
Institute of Healthy Ageing
Darwin Building
Gower Street
  • Research Fellow
  • Genetics, Evolution & Environment
  • Div of Biosciences
  • Faculty of Life Sciences

My previous PhD work at Stanford University focused on the roles played by glial cells (the non-neuronal cells of the nervous system) in models of Alzheimer’s disease. My current research as an Alzheimer’s Society Junior Fellow focuses on the interactions between neurons and glial cells in the ageing process itself, and how age-related changes in glia may contribute to susceptibility to neurodegenerative diseases.

Research Groups
Research Themes
Research Summary

Age is the primary risk factor for many neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease, yet little is known about how ageing predisposes the brain to disease. Recent evidence from my own work and other studies suggests that, among brain cell types, it is glial cells (the non-neuronal cells of the nervous system) that may contribute most to ageing and whose gene expression changes most with age, in species ranging from humans to fruit flies. I therefore use the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, whose neurons and glial cells closely parallel those of humans in their functions, as a simple system to study the role of different nervous system cell types in ageing and neurodegenerative diseases. I use a combination of genetics, behavioural analysis, imaging techniques, and electrophysiology to study how age-related changes in different cell types contribute to brain ageing and disease.

Teaching Summary
Medical School SSC 274: Along with Dr Teresa Niccoli, I run a yearly seminar course for medical students interested in basic research on ageing

In addition, I have given occasional lectures for BIOL0022 (Biology of Ageing) and for a Biology of Ageing course at the University of Kent.
Academic Background
2017 AFHEA ATQ02 - Recognised by the HEA as an Associate Fellow – Education University College London
2013 PhD Doctor of Philosophy – Neuroscience Stanford University
2005 BS Bachelor of Science – Biology Emory University
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