Research Fellows Directory
Dr Janet Deane
University of Cambridge
Our research aims to provide improved treatments for human diseases by understanding the processes that have gone awry in diseased cells. One area of our research focusses on Krabbe disease, a neurodegenerative disorder that, unlike other forms of neurodegeneration such as Alzheimer’s Disease, primarily affects young children. Krabbe disease itself is quite rare but the underlying mechanisms that cause the disease may be relevant to more common neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s Disease and Multiple Sclerosis. Krabbe disease is caused by deficiencies in an enzyme called galactocerebrosidase (GALC) that is essential for the maintenance of healthy nerve cells. There is currently no cure for Krabbe disease. Our work has highlighted what goes wrong with GALC in these disease states allowing for a greater understanding of which therapeutics are likely to be the most beneficial. More generally, our recent work has identified a new paradigm for how essential lipid molecules, that are required for maintaining cellular health, are efficiently recycled via specific degradation pathways in a specialised part of the cell known as the lysosome. Understanding this process is relevant to many human diseases and our new insights will pave the way for novel therapeutic strategies.
Interests and expertise (Subject groups)