Tulsi Patel NSG PhD research grantee

Tulsi Patel NSG PhD research grantee

Tulsi receives funding from the NSG at the QMC for her PhD research. Her 3 year project which started in October 2014, under the supervision of Professor Kevin Morgan, is entitled “The role of rare variants in Alzheimer’s disease”.

For many years only one gene was universally accepted as a risk factor for late-onset Alzheimer’s disease. During the last few years as a result of studies in the UK, Europe and the USA 20 more genes have been identified which are associated with the disease which is the most prevalent form of dementia. In 2006 it was estimated that 26.6 million people suffered from it worldwide of which 700,000 were in the UK

Professor Morgan’s team is engaged in identifying the DNA changes responsible for the disease and their functional effects. Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) techniques are being used. Tulsi is applying proven and experimental methodologies to study the genes concerned. The common and rare variants within the genes will be listed and prioritised for testing their association with Alzheimer’s disease using the team’s Alzheimer’s UK resource together with samples obtained from it collaboration with Professor Steven Younkin at the Mayo Clinic in Florida. Data emerging from the ongoing 1000 genomes international research project which started in 2008 will also be used.

Tulsi is well qualified for her role. After gaining her BSc at the University of Central Lancashire, where she received the Dean’s Award for Merit in Neuroscience, Tulsi was awarded a Master Degree with distinction in Computational Biology at the University of York in 2014. During the summer of that year she assisted Dr Debbie Goode at the University of Cambridge with the bioinformatics aspects of a project relating to the genes involved in the different stages of blood cell development.

In her private life Tulsi has devoted hundreds of hours to voluntary work, particularly with children, with Vinspired, Voluntary Action within Kent and other organisations. In 2010 Tulsi took part in a World Challenge expedition to Ecuador. Her other interests include netball, camping and travelling.

February 24, 2015