Mootaz M. Salman

Research Scientist in Cellular Neuroscience
Person Type
Junior Research Fellow
Medical Sciences DivisionDepartment of Physiology, Anatomy and GeneticsLaboratory of Molecular Neurodegeneration and Gene TherapyLe Gros Clark BuildingSouth Parks RoadOxfordOX1 3QXUK

Current Project: I joined the University of Oxford in late 2020 as a Research Scientist in Neuroscience following my first postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children's Hospital. As part of Oxford Parkinson’s Disease Centre (OPDC), the aim of my current project is to contribute to the development of novel therapeutic target discovery for Parkinson’s. I am using CRISPR/Cas9 genome engineering of highly physiologically-relevant human iPSC lines from Parkinson’s patients differentiated into dopaminergic neurons to investigate molecular disease mechanisms and validate new therapeutic hits. The project is in collaboration with GSK® which offers an exciting opportunity to work at the translational interface of academic and industry target discovery and drug development. Biography: I graduated with a Bachelor of Pharmacy with Honours (BPharm(Hons)) and then did my MSc and PhD at Sheffield Hallam University working with Prof Nicola Woodroofe and Dr Matthew Conner as a member of the multi-institute “Team Aquaporin” research collaboration on studying the mechanisms of the water channels (mainly AQP4) translocation in glial cells with a particular interest in validating their role as potential drug targets for CNS oedema, traumatic brain injury and stroke. I then went on to my first postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital working with Prof Tom Kirchhausen. The project was in collaboration with Biogen® and it aimed to understand the cellular physiology of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) that would provide a platform for exploiting the mechanisms involved in improving the therapeutic effectiveness of drugs and/or helping in the treatment of a wide-range of CNS pathologies. The project involved developing an in-vitro microphysiological 3D model of BBB-on-chip that can be used for multiple high-resolution imaging modalities such as transmission electron microscopy (TEM), 3D live fluorescence imaging using traditional spinning disk confocal microscopy, and advanced lattice light sheet microscopy (LLSM), to study the trans-BBB traffic of fluorescently-labelled proteins, therapeutic antibodies and/or viruses.

Neuroscience, Cell Biology, Neurodegeneration, Organ-on-a-chip, Stem cells, Pharmacology

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