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Is Targeting the Inflammasome a Way Forward for Neuroscience Drug Discovery?

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David Brough, Ph.D.
Professor of Neuroinflammation
Division of Neuroscience and Experimental Psychology
School of Biological Sciences
Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health
Manchester Academic Health Science Centre
University of Manchester
United Kingdom

David Brough is professor of neuroinflammation at the University of Manchester. Inflammation is now known to worsen brain injury and neurodegeneration and is now being considered as a potential therapeutic target for diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. However, we do not understand many of the basic inflammatory mechanisms occurring in response to disease and how they contribute. The aim of the Brough lab is to understand fundamental mechanisms of inflammation and how they contribute to disease. For example, the pro-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-1beta (IL-1β) is produced in an injured brain and contributes to a worsening of damage. However, we do not fully understand IL-1β activation and secretion from microglia and macrophages. The Brough lab group has contributed to how we understand the regulation of multi-molecular complexes called inflammasomes which regulate the activation of a protease called caspase-1 which subsequently activates IL-1β. The Brough lab has also contributed to how we understand the unconventional pathways of secretion IL-1β uses to exit the cell. In doing so they have identified a number of new mechanisms that could become therapeutic targets for the treatment of neurodegenerative disease. The work in the Brough lab spans cell and molecular biology through to pre-clinical models of disease and analysis of clinical samples.  .

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November 20, 2018