Current Research

I am currently investigating the role of the inflammasome in Alzheimer’s disease at the University of Manchester. Under the supervision of Dr. Catherine Lawrence and Dr. David Brough I am investigating if zinc deficiency leads to a hyperinflammatory state in the APP-PS1 mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease. I am using a range of histological and behavioural assessments to track the disease progression in the mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease. I am also performing a number of in vitro experiments to further elucidate the pathways of inflammasome activation. I am thoroughly enjoying Manchester and the Manchurians, and I am currently undecided on whether I should support United or City.


Download –Curriculum Vitae Jack Rivers Auty

My Research at Manchester University

Minute lecture describing my research at the University of Manchester.

My history

I grew up in Christchurch, New Zealand. I had an interest in science and public speaking from a very young age. I completed high school and moved to Dunedin, New Zealand, where I completed a Bsc in anatomy with a neuroscience focus at the University of Otago. During my degree I took several botany papers and fell in love with the subject, so continued my studies at Otago with a post graduate diploma in botany. At the end of that year I was looking for a Ph.D. topic and I found an interesting combination of botany and neuroscience with a study of the effects of synthetic cannabinoids on inflammation in the ischemic brain.

      Under the supervision of Dr. John Ashton I enjoyed the roller-coaster of Ph.D. life and learnt the valuable lesson of researching methodologies with a skeptical eye. I developed a new model of hypoxia ischemia that produced more consistent infarcts and tested several potential neuroprotectants with the model. During my Ph.D. I won several awards for presenting my research, most notably winning the three minute thesis competition at the University of Otago and going on to be voted winner by the audience in the Australasian competition, and I also developed an interest for scientific illustration using vector diagram software.

    I then worked under Prof. M. Bhatia and Prof. R. Frazer in the Pathology Department of the University of Otago Christchurch. I researched the role of hydrogen sulfide in a mouse model of sepsis using KO mice. This is an exciting new field with hydrogen sulfide now considered the third gaseous signalling molecule a long side NO and CO. It may play crucial roles in physiologies as diverse as learning and memory, inflammation, to gut motility. I found that mice that lack a gene involved in hydrogen sulfide production had significantly higher inflammatory response to sepsis. This indicates that endogenous hydrogen sulfide may act to regulate the immune response.
In the same department I then worked with Dr. Mark Hampton on NETosis in neutrophils. This is a process where neutrophils load their DNA with bactericidal proteins and then eject their DNA to act extra-cellularly. We found evidence that sepsis patients have higher levels of immature neutrophils and that these seem to be less likely to undergo NETosis. This was supported by evidence that bone marrow neutrophils from mice appeared to be less likely to undergo NETosis.

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