Race Against Dementia Fellow
University College London, UK
Dr Cara Croft, recipient of a 2019 Race Against Dementia Fellowship, is dedicated to understanding the connection between well-known risk genes and the development of specific disease pathologies and neurodegeneration in dementia.
Cara has an undergraduate master’s degree in neuroscience from the University of Manchester and a Neuroscience PhD from King’s College London, which was funded by NC3Rs. Before joining the Race Against Dementia Fellowship, Cara was a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Florida.
“Dementia knows no borders and our research shouldn’t either. The Race Against Dementia network enables international collaborations – I work alongside some of the best researchers in the world.”
Dr Cara Croft
Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease are some of the most common causes of dementia. Build-up of certain proteins in brain cells are closely linked to problems with memory, thoughts and motor skills – as well overall brain cell health. Tau protein build-up is heavily implicated in Alzheimer’s disease and frontotemporal dementia. Synuclein protein builds-up in Parkinson’s disease and Lewy bodies dementia.
Cara is developing innovative technologies that help assess the impact of genetic changes on brain cell health and function, as well as protein build-up. Applying these new technologies to brain-in-a-petri-dish models and animal models exhibiting symptoms of the disease, her goal is to determine whether potential treatments should concentrate on addressing changing genetic code or protein build-up.