ELE lab at the lysosomal disease GRC

Emyr and Emily have just returned from the 2017 Lysosomal diseases Gordon Research Conference – 2017 lysosomal diseases GRC.

GRCs are at the forefront of conferences that represent leading science in the field and we presented our work on the NCLs (Emyr) and Alzheimer’s (Emily). There was a lot of interest in our work and some fantastic feedback and interesting ideas. We had opportunities to catch up with colleagues and old friends and to work on collaborative projects whilst we were there.

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Emyr with Dr. Frank Stehr (NCL-Stiftung)

Emyr was invited to present the CLN3 work that has been funded by Action Medical Research, NCL Stiftung  and previously by the Beyond Batten Disease Foundation. Emily presented a poster on our collaborative work with Prof Ralph Nixon (NYU/Nathan Kline Institute) investigating the role of lysosomal Ca2+ in familial Alzheimer’s disease, work that has been funded by Alzheimer’s Research UK. This was without doubt our busiest conference ofsdr recent times with barely a free moment! That said, we did briefly visit Pisa and Lucca!

The conference itself (chaired by Prof. Andrea Ballabio, TIGEM) was excellent, great science on show, some very interesting stories and plenty of unpublished data presented. We return to Cardiff enthused, with some great experimental ideas to try out, some data to finish for papers and some new collaborations to develop. Here’s to the next GRC (in Galveston, Texas) in two years time!

Final year project drug screening success!

A big well done and congratulations go out to our final year project students; Andrew, Emily, Millie and Sophie, who are now reaching the end of their time in the lab and have done a great job with a challenging drug screening project. Focusing on a number of diseases including Krabbe, MPSVII, CLN2 and CLN10 they have accomplished an epic low-throughput drug screen and found some interesting hit compounds that we intend to follow up in the near future. Good luck now with your write ups and with the rest of your degree component and many thanks for having done a stellar job in the lab. You’re all welcome to come back and visit us any time. A big thank you as well to Abdullah, Emily, Katie and Rafa for supporting the final year students throughout their project and now with their write ups. Best wishes, Emyr

P.s. Also, well done Tim on completing your Erasmus project in the lab, we look forward to having you back in the lab for your own final year project on the role of cathepsin D in Alzheimer’s!

Lloyd-Evans lab do 5km run for the BDFA

The BDFA have teamed up with Virtual Warrior to have people raise money for Batten’s disease by running a virtual 5k (http://www.bdfa-uk.org.uk/virtual-warrior-5k-for-the-bdfa/). Most of the lab are doing this as a team and have jogged around Bute Park for 5km today, some in BDFA colors. Others in the lab are doing the 5km in other ways, such as running in to work (Emyr), on treadmills in the gym (Katie – who took the photo above), or in Rafa’s case, going up mountains in Scotland….! Considering the research support we have received from the Batten’s community we are very happy to be able to help out in a small way like this.

Scoping out the annual Life Science Research Network Wales conference

November 30-December 1st, 2016

Emyr and Rafa are at the 2016 LSRNW conference at the St. Davids hotel. The LSRNW are co-funding Rafa’s PhD on drug development for the NCL’s, specifically CLN8, alongside the BDFA. We are hoping to make new important connections and consolidate our currently important collaborations to facilitate Rafa’s PhD work.

Amazingly, this morning we found out from Prof Julie Williams that although Wales only makes up 0.14% of the global scientific community, we very much punch above our weight with 0.7% of the world’s highest ranking scientific output. We have also had a very inspirational presentation about how the Welsh government are promoting women in science at Universities here in Wales, attempting to actively address the gender gap in research and showing Wales to be a great place to do research.

There are some very interesting talks on drug development and treatments across these two days, we look forward to presenting our own work at this meeting next year.