Age-related cognitive decline is a major contributor to the rising costs of medical and social care. Active life style, physical exercise, caloric restriction and food supplements can have a positive influence on the function of ageing brain. My lab explores how physical activity, lifestyle and diet can influence cellular networks in ageing brain and improve memory and other cognitive functions.
Research: Technical Summary
Research interests: cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying communication between neurons and glial cells and their impact on the brain function. The rationale for this research lies in the emerging body of multidisciplinary evidence of a crucial role for glial cells as a “Master Hub” of brain activity. Over a number of years my research team have developed state-of-the-art methodologies to analyze aged brain tissue, including unique experience of patch-clamp recordings and multi-photon fluorescent imaging in the brain slices of old animals, recordings from individual synapses, quantal analysis and computer simulation of neuronal and glial signaling.
Glia-neuron interactions in neurodegenerative diseases and brain longevity:
Using mouse models of Alzheimeir's disease we test the hypothesis that molecular and morphological alterations in astrocytes can compromise their neuroprotective function and astroglial control of synaptic transmission, thereby contributing to the cognitive impairment. We are also exploring impact of enriched environment and physical activity on synaptic dynamics and astrocyte-driven modulation of neuronal networks.
Astroglial modulation of autophagy: There is a growing awareness of an importance of autophagy for brain cells longevity and beneficial effects of dietary restriction on mechanism of autophagy, in particular in the context of aging and neurodegeneration. Still, the aging- and diet-related alterations in the mechanisms of autophagy in glial and neuronal cells remain largely unexplored. In this project we will investigate the impact of autophagy on synaptic homeostasis and plasticity in aging brain in the mice model of selective impairment of autophagy in astrocytes and neurons.
The outcomes of these studies will contribute to further understanding of the fundamental mechanisms of brain ageing and will help to develop new approaches to maintain mental health and ameliorate the negative impact of ageing on cognitive function.
- 2007 - Assistant, then Associate Professor of Neuroscience in the University of Warwick
- 2003 – 2007 - Research Associate in several universities across UK
- 1996 – 2003 - Scientific Researcher, Bogomoletz Institute of Physiology, Kiev, Ukraine
- 1995 – PhD in Biological Sciences, Bogomoletz Institute for Physiology, Kiev, Ukraine
- 1992 - MSc in Biological Physics, Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, Moscow, Russia