Menu

News

26 July 2021

The Montagne Lab would like to welcome Daniela (Dany) Jaime Garcia, first PhD Student!

  1. Tell us about yourself, your background, and what made you choose to do a PhD?
    My name is Daniela (Dany); I was born and raised in Mexico and had an interest in neuroscience from an early age. I obtained my undergraduate degree in Psychology and Neuroscience at Grinnell College (USA) and worked in a neurology rehabilitation clinic shortly after completing my studies. It was there that I was first exposed to the devastating consequences of stroke and vascular dementia, which further motivated me to pursue a research career.
    Since then, I have obtained a Stroke Medicine MSc at University College London and worked with Professor Joanna Wardlaw at the University of Edinburgh as a research assistant in clinical studies of small vessel disease (SVD). For me, this PhD represents an opportunity to contribute to research in an area I feel passionate about, whilst developing fundamental skills I will need to participate in future research projects aimed at improving the lives of patients living with vascular dementia.
  1. Why this University, this lab, and this project?
    Working on ways to facilitate the translation of neuroscience research from bench to bedside is a goal I feel strongly about. The University of Edinburgh offers a highly interdisciplinary and collaborative environment where pre-clinical and clinical researchers are in constant communication and research teams are comprised of scientists and clinicians alike. This project is also particularly appealing to me as it has pre-clinical and clinical components and is supervised by Prof. Wardlaw – a radiologist and clinical small vessel disease research expert, and Dr. Montagne – a scientist who has demonstrated a strong commitment to translational neuroscience throughout his career.
  1. Tell us about your specific research project?
    With Dr. Axel Montagne and Prof. Joanna Wardlaw as my supervisors, I plan to examine the role of capillary-enveloping pericytes in the development and progression of the blood-brain barrier breakdown observed in the early stages of SVD and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Using innovative animal models, in vivo imaging techniques and transcriptomics – as well as data from neuroimaging clinical studies – we aim to examine these aspects of SVD pathophysiology whilst bridging the gap between humans and animals.
  1. What would you like the impact of this project to be?
    Even though SVD is now known to be highly prevalent and an immense burden – to the patients, to their loved ones, and to society – the underlying causes and consequences of it remain poorly understood, and there are no effective treatments. My biggest hope would be to change the way we understand how SVD develops and progresses; more specifically, I want to understand what goes wrong in the earlier stages of the disease with the aim of finding potential pathways that can serve as promising therapeutic avenues to stop it from progressing.
  1. What do you plan to do after you complete your PhD?
    I am committed to a career path in stroke and dementia research; whether this will mainly include pre-clinical or clinical research (or perhaps both), remains to be seen. With the emergence of the UK Dementia Research Institute and other strong, interconnected networks of collaborating scientists working towards the same goal, it is undeniably an exciting time to be involved. Stay tuned!

7 July 2021

This is our new lab logo!
It nicely depicts the science being done in the lab and emphasises the importance of keeping healthy blood vessels to keep your brain healthy.
It basically represents a human brain (top view) with the left hemisphere being healthy and the right hemisphere degenerating due to dementia. There is also a cross-sectional view of a capillary vessel which includes a pericyte wrapping around the endothelium. This vessel is damaged as shown by a drop of blood leaking out into the brain. It reflects the growing body of evidence supporting the involvement of early BBB dysfunction in the development and progression of common dementias such as Alzheimer’s disease and cerebral Small Vessel Disease.

It was an absolute pleasure working with the talented Ella Marushchenko. Quick turn-around, high quality artwork, and reasonable cost. Please visit her website ellamarustudio.com. I highly recommend her 😊


14 June 2021

My last postdoc article as a first author published in Nature Aging
This study not only sheds light on how the APOE4 gene may cause some of the pathologies associated with Alzheimer’s disease, but also suggests a new treatment target (i.e., Alisporivir) that might help people who carry the APOE4 gene in early and late stages of the disease. We found that APOE4 is associated with the activation of an inflammatory protein, Cyclophilin A, that causes a breakdown in the blood-brain barrier which protects the brain.

📰 The article can be found here: https://go.nature.com/3xhBezx

And media coverage there: https://bit.ly/3pRxjXD


23 May 2021

Run the Network Challenge
The idea was to run/walk/cycle/swim over 500 miles to raise money for Alzheimer’s Research UK (ARUK)!

To help support ARUK, the Scotland Network took part in a fundraising challenge to coincide with Dementia Action Week (17th-23rd May). The ARUK Scotland Network is a group of research scientists based at Scottish Universities who are dedicated in finding a cure for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia (https://www.alzheimersresearchuk.org/research/for-researchers/network-centres/scotland-network-centre/).

The challenge was called ‘Run the Network’ and our aim was to accumulatively virtually run (or walk, cycle, swim or any other form of exercise!) the distance between all the Universities in our Network as a group.

Our route is 813 km (just over 500 miles!), starting at the University of Dundee, going up the coast to Aberdeen, across to the University of the Highlands and Islands in Inverness, taking the scenic route down to Glasgow to say hello to our colleagues at Glasgow Caledonian University, University of Strathclyde and the University of Glasgow via the University of Stirling, across the central belt to Edinburgh to see everyone at Napier, Heriot Watt, The University of Edinburgh and Queen Margaret University, before heading into Fife to St Andrews University, and the final stretch back to the University of Dundee to complete the challenge.

Our team (30+ researchers) has completed an incredible 1193.4 miles over 7 days and raised more than £3,000 🎉

You can support these efforts to raise even more money for an incredible charity: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/runthenetwork


16 May 2021

My postdoc article published in Neuron journal in 2015 reached 1,000 citations today!

By imaging the living human brains, we showed an age-dependent blood-brain barrier (BBB) breakdown in the hippocampus, a region critical for learning and memory, which worsened with cognitive decline and correlated with BBB-associated injury to pericytes.

📰 The article can be found here: https://bit.ly/3byr3OG


12 April 2021

A special edition as guest editor for Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience
We have launched a new Research Topic, “Vascular Inflammation in Aging and Neurodegeneration”.

Topic Editors:
– Dr. Donghui Zhu, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, United States
– Dr. Axel Montagne, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
– Dr. Zhen Zhao, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, United States

Visit the homepage for this Research Topic for a full description of the project:
📰 https://www.frontiersin.org/research-topics/19510/vascular-inflammation-in-aging-and-neurodegeneration

This is a great opportunity to have your research published in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, a leading journal in its field. With an Impact Factor of 4.362 and CiteScore of 6.3, it advances understanding of central nervous system ageing and age-related neural diseases.

The submission deadline for this Research Topic is 31 December 2021.


12 April 2021

A special edition as guest editor for Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience
We have launched a new Research Topic, “Multifaceted interactions between immunity and the diseased brain”.

Topic Editors:
– Dr. Sandro Dá Mesquita, Mayo Clinic Florida, Jacksonville, United States
– Dr. Axel Montagne, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
– Dr. Kristen E Funk, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, United States
– Dr. Ana Luisa Mendanha Falcao, Life and Health Sciences Research Institute, School of Medicine, University of Minho, Braga, Portugal

Visit the homepage for this Research Topic for a full description of the project:
📰 https://www.frontiersin.org/research-topics/16559/multifaceted-interactions-between-immunity-and-the-diseased-brain

This is a great opportunity to have your research published in Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience, a leading journal in its field. With an Impact Factor of 3.921 and CiteScore of 5.4, it advances understanding of the cellular mechanisms underlying cell function in the nervous system across all species. 

The submission deadline for this Research Topic is 31 May 2021.


7 April 2021

The Montagne Lab has launched a new website and Twitter handle (@MontagneLab).

📰 https://www.ed.ac.uk/clinical-brain-sciences/research/row-fogo-centre/news-and-events/news/montagne-lab-launched-a-new-website


27 January 2021

Edinburgh Imaging would like to welcome Dr. Axel Montagne, Chancellor’s Fellow, to the University.

📰 https://www.ed.ac.uk/clinical-sciences/edinburgh-imaging/news/2021-news/27-jan-21-welcome-dr-axel-montagne