Anna Parsons

I joined the MRC in 2017 as a DPhil student in the Oliver Neurodisorders lab studying the genetics of neuroprotection in the TLDc family of genes. Through my research I am investigating two of these genes, OXR1 and TBC1D24, of which the former may have therapeutic potential in rescuing neurodegeneration caused by oxidative stress, and the latter is linked with a range of epileptic and neurodegenerative syndromes when mutated. Understanding the function and dysfunction of both of these genes is likely to shed light on the complex mechanisms of protection against neurodegeneration, and enable further understanding of how this can be pharmacologically harnessed to treat disease.

Before starting my DPhil, I graduated from Leicester University in 2017 with First Class Honours in Biological Sciences with Neuroscience. Here I undertook a third year research project in the Mitcheson lab looking at the effects of cancer-related mutations on the electrophysiological properties of ion channels, and also a summer research project in the McCutcheon lab studying the neurobehavioural mechanisms of appetitive conditioning in pond snails.

I am the current senior student representative, having taken over from Danielle Sagar in January 2020, and my role involves representing students at the MRC, running the student journal club and organising social events. Outside of the lab I enjoy singing in Balliol Chapel Choir, cooking and pub quizzes!