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Dr Peter-Christian Kloehn
UCL Institute of Neurology
MRC Prion Unit
Dr Peter-Christian Kloehn profile picture
  • Programme Leader
  • MRC Prion Unit at UCL
  • UCL Institute of Prion Diseases
  • Faculty of Brain Sciences
Research Groups
Research Themes
Research Summary

We are focussing on two fundamental questions to better characterise the molecular underpinnings of prion pathogenesis. Firstly, we aim to identify genetic factors that facilitate or impede prion replication and pathogenesis and secondly, we seek to investigate the underlying molecular events for the dissemination of prions in the periphery.

To better understand how proteins misfold and cause disease in the host we study the transcriptomes of prion-susceptible and resistant cells. Candidate genes can then be overexpressed or silenced in vitro and in vivo to elucidate their role in prion replication and disease. We established recombinational cloning (Gateway cloning) to efficiently shuttle DNA fragments between different cloning vectors and use viral-mediated gene delivery to determine effects of gene perturbation in vitro and in vivo.

We recently showed evidence that cells of the innate immune system, like dendritic cells and natural killer cells sequester high amounts of prions. Intriguingly, prions were secreted from immune cells in form of infectious nanoparticles, so-called exosomes.

We offer internships for students, who are interested in learning and applying state-of-the-art methods in molecular biology.

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