Changing the future of spinal cord injury
Having completed her Masters in Neuroscience of Neurodegeneration at King’s College London, Andrea joined the University of Birmingham for her PhD in the lab of Dr Zubair Ahmed, Senior Lecturer in Neuroscience.
Andrea is researching the role of aquaporin-4, a protein, in limiting acute oedema after spinal cord injury. After spinal cord injury, oedema - fluid build-up, can cause neuropathic pain and loss of nerve function. With a strong background in the causes of nerve degradation, this research will utilise her skills and experience and enhance her knowledge of molecular, cellular and in vivo techniques, critical for a career in neuroscience and CNS regeneration.
Why neuroscience research in spinal cord injury is important to Andrea.
The spinal cord is one of the most multi-function and fundamental areas of our anatomy, comprising most of the neurons that allow us to be instinctively human. Damage to the spinal cord can be detrimental, devastating, and largely unpredictable in terms of clinical outcome. Furthermore, there is no gene or factor that defines likelihood of having a spinal cord injury; it could happen to any of us. As such, researching the molecular causes and treatments is vital for offering promise for the quality of life of those who suffer it.