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Investigating the role of histone acetylation in memory formation

48 months
Approved budget:
Dr Helen Fitzsimons
Health issue:
Neurological (CNS)
Proposal type:
Sir Charles Hercus Fellowship
Lay summary
Due to our aging population, the incidence of dementia is rising rapidly and now more than ever, breakthroughs in treatment are desperately needed. The aim of this research is to investigate the molecular mechanisms that underpin long-term memory (LTM) via a multidisciplinary approach. The role of the histone deacetylase HDAC4 in LTM will firstly be examined via genetic interaction studies in the fruit fly Drosophila, then these findings will be applied to rodent models of complex memory tasks. In order to further understand the clinical relevance of HDAC4 in memory processes, HDAC4 expression will be examined in normal and Alzheimer's patient donor brain tissue. This research aligns with my career objective of building a research team and collaborative network to study how long-term memories are formed and stored, with the ultimate goal of providing new targets for development of treatments for disorders such as Alzheimer's and dementia.