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Steph Fowler

Oxford-GSK IMCM Fellow

Steph Fowler was awarded a PhD in 2017 from the University of Ottawa (Canada) for her work on the impacts of gap junction-mediated signaling in regenerating murine hippocampal stem cell niches. 

She pursued a research focus in neurodegenerative disease by accepting a postdoctoral position in the lab of Dr. Karen Duff at Columbia University (USA). Here, she worked extensively on the isolation and characterisation of diverse seed-competent tau species isolated from brain tissue of patients diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease (AD) and various primary tauopathies. 

In 2019, the lab moved to the UK Dementia Research Institute at UCL (UK), where Steph led the discovery that short, seed-competent tau filaments were associated with extracellular vesicles (EVs) isolated from human post-mortem AD brain tissue.  Cryo-electron tomography was used to show that these uniquely-modified tau filaments are tethered to the luminal membranes of secreted EVs (Collaboration with Dr. Benjamin Ryskeldi-Falcon's group at the MRC LMB Cambridge).

Currently, as a Fellow at the Oxford-GSK Institute of Molecular and Computational Medicine (IMCM), Steph's research programme will interrogate mechanisms of tau assembly and spread, using spatial proteomics and super-resolution imaging techniques to define organelle-specific microenvironments associated with pathological tau species.  Steph's research interests also lie in detecting seed-competent tau species in human biofluids/EVs, and in developing a more sophisticated toolkit of conformation-specific antibodies to detect and treat human tauopathies.

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