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New researcher joins Emerging Leader programme for bright young research talent

Jing Qui Speaker

We are thrilled to announce a new Emerging Leader at the Institute: Dr Jing Qiu, based at the UK DRI at Edinburgh. Dr Qiu joins the 13 other talented upcoming scientists who were elected to the programme last year.

The Emerging Leaders programme was established in May 2021, to recognise and support highly achieving early career researchers on their route towards starting an independent laboratory. The researchers are sponsored and hosted by a UK DRI Group Leader and recognised for their growing research experience and ability to secure a source of external funding.

Dr Qiu joins the programme sponsored by Prof Giles Hardingham, Centre Director at UK DRI at Edinburgh, after being recently awarded funding from the Medical Research Council (Neuroimmunology Data Generation Award) and the Wellcome Trust. She joined the University of Edinburgh as a postdoctoral research fellow in Prof Hardingham’s lab in 2010, after completing her PhD at the University of Bristol. Dr Qiu's current research focuses on microglial signalling with other brain cell types.

It is a huge privilege to be recognised as a UK DRI Emerging Leader, and the support will be greatly beneficial for my research and career development. Dr Jing Qiu, UK DRI at Edinburgh
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Microglia are immune cells which play a major role in controlling inflammation within the brain. Under normal conditions they maintain a steady homeostatic state, but have been found to switch to a ‘primed’ state in ageing and neurodegenerative disease. This leads to an exaggerated response to inflammation which is harmful to the brain.

Dr Qiu’s research has found that other brain cell types release factors that promote microglial homeostasis and prevent them from switching to the primed state. Her current work is focused on identifying these factors, which she hopes will lead to new drug targets for dementia.

Dr Qiu said:

“It is a huge privilege to be recognised as a UK DRI Emerging Leader, and the support will be greatly beneficial for my research and career development. I’m grateful for the opportunities that the Emerging Leader programme will bring me, both through access to research funding, and opportunities to collaborate with and learn from world leading dementia researchers within the organisation.”

Read about the research from all the current Emerging Leaders in the updated programme launch article.



Article published: 11 April 2022

Banner image: Shutterstock

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