Research Fellows Directory
Dr Megan Oliva
University of Cambridge
My current research explores the physiological consequences of mutations associated with Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia (HSP) that have been shown to affect the shape of the endoplasmic reticulum in the axons of motor neurons. This is an underexplored area largely due to the fact that appropriate tools for investigating these roles have not been developed. I will generate flies carrying calcium sensors in or around the endoplasmic reticulum to examine one of the best known physiological roles of endoplasmic reticulum, calcium homeostasis. My primary goal is to establish the tools to analyse this, exploiting the advantages of the intact nervous system of Drosophila; I will then use these tools to begin testing the effects of disrupting endoplasmic reticulum presence or continuity in axons. Successful use of these tools will open up future possibilities to study consequences of endoplasmic reticulum impairment on calcium or organelle physiology, that can lead to HSP and axon degeneration in other diseases.
Interests and expertise (Subject groups)