UCL Division of Biosciences


GEE Seminar - Professor Tony Wyss-Coray, Stanford University

09 February 2022, 4:00 pm–5:00 pm


Title: 'Systemic Regulation of Brain Function'

Event Information

Open to

UCL staff | UCL students | UCL alumni




Amy Godfrey



Academic Host: Nazif Alic
Abstract: Brain aging leads to cognitive decline and is the main risk factor for sporadic forms of neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease. While brain cell- and tissue-intrinsic factors are likely key determinants of the aging process recent studies document a remarkable susceptibility of the brain to circulatory factors. Thus, blood borne factors from young mice or humans are sufficient to slow aspects of brain aging and improve cognitive function in old mice and, vice versa, factors from old mice are detrimental for young mice and impair cognition. In trying to understand the molecular basis of these observations we found evidence that the cerebrovasculature is an important target and that brain endothelial cells show prominent age-related transcriptional changes in response to plasma. We discovered that plasma proteins are taken up broadly into the brain and that this process various between individual endothelial cells and with aging. We are exploring the relevance of these findings for neurodegeneration and potential applications towards therapies.

About the Speaker

Prof. Tony Wyss-Coray

Professor of Neurology & Neurological Sciences at Stanford University

Our laboratory studies the role of immune and injury responses in neurodegeneration and Alzheimer’s disease. We seek to understand how immune responses and injury pathways may modulate neurodegeneration and age-related changes in the brain. We study these pathways in vivo and in cell culture using a number of genetic and proteomic tools. We have been particularly interested in the TGF-beta signaling pathway as a major regulator of biological processes and we are developing genetic and pharmacological agents to manipulate this pathway.

More about Prof. Tony Wyss-Coray