Dr Helen Parker, Theme IV PDRA
Helen obtained her BSc (Hons) in Neuroscience from the University of Leeds in 2011. She completed her MSc in Molecular Pathology and Toxicology at the University of Leicester in 2012, working with Professor Ian Forsythe and Dr Emanuele Schiavon, to assess the toxicity of bilirubin on neurodegeneration of synaptic terminals in the mouse auditory brainstem. After completing her MSc she remained at the MRC Toxicology Unit for a short time as a research assistant. Helen then undertook a MRes in Integrative Biology at the University of Manchester were she assessed the effect of high fat diet and oxidative stress in Alzheimer’s disease. From there on she pursued her PhD in Medicine funded by the Neuroscience Research Institute, within the Stem Cell and Neurotherapies Laboratory at the University of Manchester. Under the supervision of Professor Brian Bigger and Dr Hervé Boutin, she focused on identifying the role of interleukin-1 in neuroinflammaton and cognitive decline, in the lysosomal storage disease Mucopolysaccharidosis type IIIA. After completion of her PhD in 2018, Helen worked on a short postdoctoral project within the same laboratory, assessing inflammatory biomarkers in MPSIII patient samples. In June 2018, Helen joined the 2D-Health project as a postdoctoral research associate working with Professor Andrew MacDonald’s group. She is focusing on the impact of graphene oxide on immune cell function and its use for cancer immunotherapy.