Cara Croft, PhD

I completed an undergraduate master’s degree in neuroscience at the University of Manchester, UK, before embarking on an NC3Rs-funded Neuroscience PhD studentship with Dr. Wendy Noble and Dr. Diane Hanger at King’s College London, UK. This studentship enabled me to make steps into the Alzheimer’s disease (AD) field, where I worked on understanding mechanisms underlying the release and spread of the protein tau both in healthy brains and in AD brains.

For the past two years, I have been working as a postdoctoral research associate in Dr. Todd Golde’s laboratory at the University of Florida. My research to date has focused on using viral methods to deliver genes linked to AD to mouse brain slices, which can be kept alive in culture for several months. By expressing these genes, we can now model one of the pathologies which builds up in the AD brain –- tau inclusions and subsequent neuronal death in a system which is much more rapid, reproducible, cost-effective and less variable than methods we had before. My current research focuses on using these mouse brain slices with numerous tau inclusions to begin to identify appropriate therapeutic targets and to examine how this buildup of tau results in the death of neurons.