Dr Lorena Arancibia Carcamo, a senior researcher based at the UK DRI at UCL, attended the initial meeting of the macroglia theme.
“The meeting was a great opportunity to interact with other UK DRI Group Leaders and really bring together the importance of all glia in neurodegenerative diseases," she said.
“I think this is a great theme to join. Macroglia have been long known to be major players in regulating neuronal function but are quite often overlooked when researching neurodegenerative diseases. It was great to talk to other Group Leaders with such diverse research backgrounds yet converging on the same idea that there is much to be explored when it comes to the interactions between neurons and glia, and glia and other glia, in disease.”
As well as the yearly meeting, the theme will instigate training and sharing of knowledge and tools among its members.
“We aim to provide a platform for all members to contribute and benefit from,” said Dr Diaz-Castro. “We’ll hold lectures for researchers to present their work and encourage the sharing of tools and data. We will promote knowledge exchange by facilitating training periods between macroglia theme labs. It’s all about promoting interaction between members.”
Not only does Dr Diaz-Castro hope to foster connection between theme members, but she also envisions integration with the other UK DRI research themes.
“We don’t want to just look at macroglial cells in isolation,” she explained. “Because, of course, it doesn’t work like that in the brain, everything is integrated. Into our plans, we also include the organization of meetings where 2 or 3 of the UK DRI themes come together and exchange ideas.”
Find out more about the macroglia theme on our research themes page. If you would like to join the macroglia theme, please contact Dr Diaz Castro or Research Themes Manager Dr Helen Brooks.
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Article published: 25 October 2022
Banner image: Human stem cell-derived myelinating oligodendrocyte can be seen with many myelinating processes wrapped around unstained neurons. Courtesy of Dr Owen Gwydion James, Prof Siddharthan Chandran’s lab, UK DRI at Edinburgh.
Second image: Astrocyte in cyan, blood vessel in red. Image captured by Dr Isabel Bravo-Ferrer, Dr Blanca Diaz-Castro's lab, UK DRI at Edinburgh.