Sandrine Thuret

Sandrine Thuret

Dr

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Personal profile

Research interests (short)

Neurogenesis and Mental Health: Environmental and molecular regulatory mechanisms.

Research interests

I am head of the Neurogenesis and Mental Health Laboratory and our research focuses on environmental and molecular regulatory mechanisms controlling hippocampal neurogenesis in health and disease.

The adult mammalian brain contains small populations of neural stem cells dividing and differentiating into neurons. This process of neurogenesis occurs in the subgranular zone of the hippocampal dentate gyrus. Adult hippocampal neurogenesis (AHN) decreases with age and elderly animals display impaired learning and memory abilities, whereas increased AHN is linked to improved learning and memory. Moreover, AHN is reduced by stressful experiences and in animal models of depression, whereas many antidepressant treatments have been shown to enhance and are dependent on functional AHN. Therefore, AHN strongly emerges as an advantageous target for counteracting the effect of ageing and stress and thus preventing cognitive and mood decline.

In the Neurogenesis and Mental Health Laboratory we investigate the molecular mechanisms governing neurogenesis by using human hippocampal stem cells and we use the mouse as an animal model to study cognition and mood. We perform a wide range of molecular biology and histology techniques with both in vivo and in vitro models. We are currently studying the molecular mechanisms by which environment (i.e. diet) and diseases (i.e. Alzheimer’s Disease) impacts on AHN and subsequently affect cognition and mood.

If you want to know more about the Neurogenesis and Mental Health Laboratory please visit our webpage: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/iop/depts/neuroscience/research/centres/ccbb/groups/nnmh/about.aspx

Education interests

I support the teaching-research nexus and believe that the best learning outcomes are obtained by linking research in a discipline and student learning in -and through- this discipline. Therefore, together with the help of postdoctoral fellows in the lab, I foster currently the research-based learning of 5 PhD students and of up to 5 BSc/MSc students per year. I also lecture in 11 programmes across KCL and because teaching and assessment practices must be aligned to the aim of teaching I also took on curriculum design and examination responsibilities:

•I am Chair of the programme board of examiners for the MSc in Neuroscience. I have a leading role on reviewing strategy to improve students' experience, assessing timeliness of the course and new initiative implementation for the programme. I am also responsible for setting examinations and assessment procedures in line with KCL regulations.

•I am Academic member of the Neuroscience/Clinical Neuroscience MPhil/PhD committee and review PhD project proposals, monitor, evaluate progress reports and upgrades proposal as well as upgrade viva of our Neuroscience/Clinical Neuroscience PhD students.

•I am the Module Leader for the "Neural stem cells and nervous system repair" MSc Neuroscience module to be launched in the 2014-2015 academic year.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor rerum naturalium, PhD in Biological Science/Neuroscience, Heidelberg University

Award Date: 1 Jan 2002

Master of Science, MSc in Aging Biology, University of Lyon

Award Date: 1 Jan 1998

Master of Science, MSc in Biological and Food engineering, University of Clermont-Ferrand, Polytech Engineering Institute, France

Award Date: 1 Jan 1997

Bachelor of Science, BSc in Applied Biology, University of Burgundy

Award Date: 1 Jan 1994

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