Investigating the Role of the Innate Immune Complement System in the Abnormal Development of the Central Nervous System (2012–2016)
We have discovered for the first time, that the innate immune complement system is essential for the proper development of the embryonic brain. Blocking components of this system leads to a dramatic increase in the incidence of neural tube defects (~50%) under folate deficiency, as well as distinct brain malformations. This Future Fellowship aims to elucidate the precise role of the complement system in the formation of the brain, by utilising a combination of cellular and animal studies. The research will be the first demonstration of the expression and roles for complement in mammalian neural tube development and, furthermore, will provide new clues underlying the cause of human neurodevelopmental defects such as neural tube defects.