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Dr Mariah Lelos

Dr Mariah Lelos

Senior Lecturer

School of Biosciences

Email
lelosmj@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)29 2087 5541
Campuses
Sir Martin Evans Building, Museum Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3AX
Users
Available for postgraduate supervision

Overview

My lab focuses on understanding and treating neurodegenerative diseases, particularly Parkinson’s and Huntington’s diseases. We are interested in understanding the manifestation of motor and non-motor (cognitive, neuropsychiatric) dysfunctions in degenerative diseases using lesion, viral vector and genetically modified rodent models. We are also investigating the ability of novel cell (hESC- and hiPSC-derived) and gene therapies to alleviate these impairments and optimising these treatments for clinical application.

I am the Associate Theme Lead for Mind, Brain and Neurosciences.                                                                                                    I represent the School of Biosciences on the Animal Welfare and Research Panel (AWARP). 

Biography

My PhD (2005-2010, Prof M Good) investigated neural network dysfunction using mathematical modelling in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease, with a particular focus on amyloid-induced amydala and hippocampal dysfunction.

My post-doctoral research (2010-2015, Prof S Dunnett) aimed to understand basal ganglia dysfunction in Parkinson's and Huntington's disease and to explore the use of human fetal and novel stem cell derived therapies to alleviate the behavioural impairments.

I was then awarded a Senior Research Fellowship from Parkinson's UK (2015-2018) to investigate the ability of human stem cell derived cell therapy products to ameliorate cognitive impairments in rodent models of Parkinson's disease.

I have recently commenced a Senior Lectureship in the neuroscience department and my lab is exploring several new avenues. We are seeking to understand the mechanisms of neural dysfunction using novel DREADDs manipulations, undertaking PET/MR imaging and using newly created models of disease. We are also studying the impact of novel cell therapy approaches and newly optimised gene therapies on cellular and behavioural function.

Publications

2020

2018

2017

2016

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

Teaching

I am currently the Assessment Lead on 3rd year module Neurobiology of Brain Disorders and I teach on the Cellular and Molecular Biology module at Master's level. I run practicals to teach histological and immunohistochemical assays and microscopy skills using rodent brain tissues.  

I am a personal tutor for Neuroscience and Biomedical undergraduate students. 

My lab focuses on understanding and treating neurodegenerative diseases, particularly Parkinson’s and Huntington’s diseases. We are interested in understanding the manifestation of motor and non-motor (cognitive, neuropsychiatric) dysfunctions in degenerative diseases using lesion, viral vector and genetically modified rodent models. We are also investigating the ability of novel cell (hESC- and hiPSC-derived) and gene therapies to alleviate these impairments and optimising these treatments for clinical application.

Some current research questions that are being addressed include: 

Can hPSC-derived dopamine grafts alleviate non-motor dysfunctions in Parkinson's disease? 

Is Pax6 a useful biomarker of transplant maturation and efficacy? 

Does neuroinflammation play a role in hPSC-derived dopmine graft-induced dyskinesias? 

What is the impact of dopamine production from AAV vectors on striatal-dependent cognitive function? 

Can we modulate gene expression to improve neurite outgrowth and synapse formation from hPSC-derived dopamine grafts? 

Can hPSC-derived medium spiny neuron transplants form synaptic connections and alleviate non-motor dysfunctions in models of Huntingtons' disease? 

Supervision

I am keen to welcome new PhD students to the team with a particular interest in:

Parkinson's disease

Huntington's disease

Cognitive or neuropsychiatric dysfunctions

Cell therapies

Gene therapies

Current supervision

Charlotte Bridge

Research student

Mengru Song

Research student

Patricia Garcia Jareno

Research student

Feras Sharouf

Research student