"I'm delighted to be recognised as a UK DRI Emerging Leader. This appointment opens up fantastic networking opportunities, access to funding and career support. I am excited to contribute to advancing dementia research within the UK DRI!" Sophie Morse
UK DRI Emerging Leader
Dr Sophie Morse joins the UK DRI Emerging Leader programme sponsored by Prof Paul Matthews, Centre Director of the UK DRI at Imperial, after becoming a European Talent Academy Fellow in 2023. She completed her PhD between King’s and Imperial, where she developed a novel method to improve the delivery of drugs to the brain using focused ultrasound and microbubbles. She received an EPSRC Doctoral Prize Fellowship in 2020 to deliver a novel drug with focused ultrasound against Alzheimer's disease and then spent a year in the Department of Brain Sciences working on novel metabolic treatments for brain tumours. In 2022 she was awarded an Imperial College Research Fellowship to start her own research group.
Glia play a critical role in brain functioning, acting as key players in the brain’s immune response and regulators of neuronal activity. In dementia, their activity is significantly altered and contributes to the progression of the disease. Targeting dysfunctions in glia by stimulating changes in their activity holds great therapeutic potential, offering new avenues to treat and protect against dementia. Dr Morse’s research has found that focused ultrasound can modulate the activity of glial cells non-invasively. Her current work is focused on engineering ultrasound technologies to modulate glial activity with the aim to treat, prevent or delay the onset of neurodegenerative diseases and age-related cognitive decline. The Morse lab seeks to uncover the level of control this ultrasound technology can achieve, the mechanisms behind this modulation and how this technology is best applied to achieve therapeutic benefits as we age.