Claire studies the protein tau, a protein which forms aggregates thought to be at the root of Alzheimer's disease. She gave an interview to the BBC where she explains her findings and how nanoscopy techniques can be used in studies of the process of protein aggregation in cells.
The study shows how tau aggregates when ingested by cells in the brain and that this causes a chain reaction causing 'healthy' tau inside the cell to misbehave and co-aggregate. These results were recently published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry and received considerable media attention.
The techniques used by the laser group, so called optical nanoscopy techniques, were the subject of a recently awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Their application in the study of neurodegenerative diseases was highlighted during the announcement.