UCL Division of Biosciences


UCL IHA Virtual Symposium: Neurodegeneration in Flies

This seminar series brings together researchers from around the globe who study neurodegenerative diseases and age-related neurodegeneration using flies.

fly brain

The fruit fly Drosophila is an incredibly useful model organism for studying neurodegenerative disease due to its short lifespan and wide array of genetic tools.

Our sessions will feature world-leading researchers in the field, as well as early-career researchers, sharing their latest findings in neurodegeneration.

All sessions will be held on Thursdays at 16:00 London, UK time, dates follow below.

The next event will be on the 2nd of September 2021.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 962 1401 3622
Passcode: 163523

In an effort to keep conversations going after the talks, we have set up a Slack workspace for Neurodegeneration in Flies. Please join in to post and respond to follow-up questions for speakers, job adverts, requests for advice or collaboration, and general conversation about the joys of working with flies! Join via this link: Slack workspace for Neurogeneration in Flies

Event information

22nd July, 2021

Speaker 1: Leeanne McGurk, School of Life Sciences, University of Dundee, Dundee, UK

Title: PARsing out TDP-43 in motor neuron disease.

Speaker 2: Mamta Rai, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee, USA

Title: Muscle-stress signaling via myokine preserves CNS proteostasis during aging

Meeting Recording:

Access Passcode: h9!?9W@L



Upcoming Speakers

2nd September 2021

Speaker: Jimena Alejandra Sierralta, Department of Neuroscience at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Chile, Chile


16th September 2021

Speaker: James Jepson, Institute of Neurology, UCL, UK



30th September 2021

Speaker 1: James Hodge, School of Physiology, Pharmacology and Neuroscience, University of Bristol, UK

Speaker 2: Ko-Fan Chen, Genetics and Genome Biology, University of Leicester, UK




14th October 2021

Speaker: Mani Ramaswami, Trinity Inst. of Neurosciences, Trinity College Dublin, UK 


28th October 2021

Speaker: Kanae Ando, Molecular Neuroscience, Tokyo Metropolitan Univer


11th November 2021

Speaker: Kristi Wharton, Brown University, USA


Past Speakers

8th July, 2021
Cahir O'Kane,  A neuron within a neuron - axonal endoplasmic reticulum and its links to hereditary spastic paraplegia.

10th June, 2021
Tom Lloyd, Mechanistic links between nucleocytoplasmic transport and proteostasis in ALS/FTD.
Gabriella ZunigaTau-induced deficits in nonsense-mediated RNA decay contribute to neurodegeneration.  

27th May, 2021
Angela Giangrande, Immune cells within and outside the nervous system: an evolutionarily conserved pathway.
China Byrns, Glia: Friend and Foe in Traumatic Brain Injury.  

13th May, 2021
Xinnan Wang, Mitochondrial homeostasis in neurodegeneration.
Adrian Beckmann, Pathogenic Tau disrupts the cellular program that maintains neuronal identity. 

29th April, 2021
Bess FrostTransposable element activation in neurodegenerative tauopathies

15th April, 2021
Patricia Jarabo BlazquezA feedback loop for lethality: glioblastoma and circadian clock
Nathan Woodling,  Cell-type-specific modulation of longevity and Amyloid-beta toxicity by neurons and glia

18 March, 2021
Shinya YamamotoThe roles of TM2D genes in Alzheimer’s Disease and Notch signaling
Teresa Niccoli, Screening for modifiers of C9orf72 hexonucleotide repeat toxicity.

4 March, 2021
Manolis FantoNeurodegeneration through autophagy dysfunctions
Li Li, A Mitochondrial Membrane-Bridging Machinery is a Drug Target for Healthy and Unhealthy Aging

18 February, 2021
Sergio Casas TintoCell to cell communication in Glioblastoma-induced neurodegeneration
Tyler Fortuna, DDX17 is a modifier of mutant FUS Toxicity in vivo

21 January, 2021
Mary Logan, Exploring glial transcriptional responses to axon injury in Drosophila
Owen PetersDrosophila as a model to investigate genes associated with increased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease

7 January, 2021
Nancy BoniniA Drosophila approach for traumatic brain injury highlights a glial response.
Magda Atilano, Enhanced insulin signalling ameliorates C9orf72 hexanucleotide repeat expansion toxicity in Drosophila

17 December, 2020
Udai Pandey, Identifying genetic modifiers and molecular pathways involved in human motor neuron disease.
Shyama NandakumarCell Cycle Re-entry in the adult Drosophila brain.

3 December, 2020
Alex Whitworth
, Cambridge University, UK. Mechanisms of mitochondrial dysfunction in Parkinson’s disease.
Abby Olsen, Harvard Medical School, USA. A Drosophila Model for Defining the Genetic Contribution of Glia to Parkinson’s Disease.

19 November, 2020
Mel Feany, Harvard Medical School, USA. Common mechanisms in neurodegenerative disease pathogenesis.
James Catterson, University of Edinburgh, UK. Laminins to the Rescue! Aβ toxicity is rescued by protein retention in the ER.

5 November, 2020
Joshua Shulman, Baylor College of Medicine, USA. The Brain Transcriptome in Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease.
Gaynor Smith, Cardiff University, UK. The Genetics of Axonal Mitochondrial Biology.

22 October, 2020
Amritpal Mudher, University of Southampton, UK. Tau tangles in Drosophila models of tauopathy - fact or fiction?.
Lovesha Sivanantharajah, University of Bangor, UK.

8 October, 2020
Patrik Verstreken, VIB-KU Leuven, Center for Brain and Disease Research, Belgium. The cellular phase of Parkinson's disease.
Pablo Largo-Barrientos, VIB-KU Leuven, Center for Brain and Disease Research, Belgium. The pathogenic interaction of synaptic Tau and Synaptogyrin-3: from fruit flies to mice

24 September, 2020
Pedro Fernandez-Funez, University of Minnesota Medical School, USA. Unravelling the intrinsic and extrinsic mechanisms underlying the toxicity of the prion protein.
Ryan Myers, University of Minnesota Medical School, USA. Y225A suppresses the toxicity of human prion protein by inducing long-range changes that stabilize a critical 3D domain.

10 September, 2020
Sean T Sweeney, University of York, UK. Identifying pathological events and therapeutics in FTD-ALS using Drosophila.
Chris Ugbode, University of York, UK. Identifying new roles for JNK in the regulation of Neuronal Antioxidant Responses.

27 August, 2020
Hugo Bellen, Baylor College of Medicine, USA. The study of rare neurological diseases drives discoveries for common diseases.