Strengthening campus research connections with a new Wellcome Trust award

One of the great strengths developed by the Mary Lyon Centre at MRC Harwell (MLC) over the last two decades is the ability to forge strong relationships with the many collaborators and users who have taken advantage of our world class services.

Harwell Campus has also grown and developed over this time period to become a vibrant environment in which to establish such relationships.

The Rosalind Franklin Institute (RFI) has been an exciting addition to the Campus ecosystem, providing cutting-edge technologies for the study of molecules and cells in various contexts.

The MLC is extremely proud to be able to formalise their first project with the Franklin by being a partner of Michael Grange’s Wellcome Career Development Award work on Alzheimer’s disease. The Wellcome Career Development Awards (grants) are given to researchers in various fields who work to improve human life, health and the wellbeing of individuals.

Michael Grange is a group leader at the Franklin specialising in electron cryo-tomography and has been awarded £2.8 million over 8 years.

Michael will implement new tools to image live, frozen-hydrated brains for assessment by electron cryo-tomography. This will enable molecular species in healthy and disease mouse models and human tissues to be imaged directly. Of particular interest are intermediates of amyloid β and tau, which will reveal hot spots of cellular damage.

The MLC will be supplying mouse models of dementia as well as the technical support for improved sample collection. This will permit the imaging of protein structures, leading to a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms of loss of brain homeostasis and of disease progression.

Debora Bogani
Head of Scientific Communications
Mary Lyon Centre at MRC Harwell