Group Members

Group Leader

Alexi Nott

Alexi Nott

Group Leader and Fellow | UK DRILecturer | Imperial College LondonLGBTQ+ Champion | Brain Sciences

Education:
Univerity of Bath, MBiochem
University College London, Ph.D.

Email: a.nott@imperial.ac.uk

Bio: Alexi joined Imperial College London in 2020 as a Lecturer in the Department of Brain Sciences and a Group Leader in the UK Dementia Research Institute. Alexi completed his PhD at the University College London investigating the function of epigenetic regulators during brain development. During his postdoctoral fellowship at MIT, he investigated the role of epigenetics in postnatal development and autism-related behaviours. His research at the University of California, San Diego investigated epigenetic mechanisms underlying age-related brain disorders and he identified microglia as associated with the genetic risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Research: Alexi's group utilizes nuclei isolation methods and genome-wide sequencing approaches to profile the epigenome of brain cell types using patient-derived archived tissue. Functional interrogation of disease-associated gene regulatory regions is explored using CRISPR DNA-editing technology of pluripotent stem cells derived into brain cell types. Using a combination of these approaches, Alexi’s research examines the epigenome of the human brain to understand how genetic variation contributes to age-related brain disorders.

Postdoctoral Researchers

Reuben Yaa

Reuben Yaa

UK DRI Research Associate

Bio: I am a Research Associate in the Nott group at the UK Dementia Research Institute at Imperial. I joined the lab after completing my PhD, which was funded by the Darwin Trust of Edinburgh studentship at King’s College London in the lab of Dr. Fiona Wardle. My PhD research project characterised cis-regulatory elements of TBXT, a transcription factor involved in metastatic cancers in lung, prostate and breast tissue, and in a rare cancer of the spinal column called chordoma. During my PhD, I visited the lab of Dr. Gómez Skarmeta at Andalusian Centre for Developmental Biology (CABD) in Seville, Spain on an European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO) fellowship for extended training on assays and tools used in gene regulation studies. Prior to starting my PhD, I worked as a Research Assistant in the lab of Prof. Faith Osier at Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI), Wellcome Trust, Kilfi, where I led a recombinant protein expression and protein micro-array facility in a malaria study. My current project in the Nott group exploits different chromatin and epigenetic assays to characterise enhancer maps associated with neurodegenerative disease risk variants.

Email: r.yaa@imperial.ac.uk

Philippa Wells

Philippa Wells

UK DRI Research Associate

Bio: I am a Research Associate in the Nott group at Imperial, within the department of Brain Sciences, part of the UK Dementia Research Institute. I completed my PhD in Genetic Epidemiology, entitled “Host genetic factors underlying the link between the microbiome and rheumatoid arthritis”, with the Department of Twin Research at King’s College London, supervised by Claire Steves and Frances Williams. I obtained my degree, BSc (Hons.) Medical Sciences from the University of Exeter. During my degree I undertook a research year at the University of Bristol and the Bristol Brain Bank investigating the role of the renin angiotensin system in Alzheimer’s disease; This work sparked my interest in Alzheimer’s disease. Following my PhD I continued at KCL as a Research Associate, before joining Imperial College London in the lab of Abbas Dehgan affiliated with the UKDRI to characterise the metabolomic profile of Alzheimer’s disease. In the Nott group, my focus will be investigating the transcriptome and epigenome of the Alzheimer’s disease brain. My aim moving forward is to continue to contribute to the field of Alzheimer’s disease research.

Email: pmwells@ic.ac.uk

PhD Students

Janis Transfed

Janis Transfeld

UK DRI PhD Student

Bio: I am a PhD student in the Nott lab at the UK Dementia Research Institute and I am enrolled in the Clinical Medicine Research (Brain Sciences) program at Imperial College London. Before I joined the lab, I completed my B.Sc. in Applied Biology and M.Sc. in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Applied Sciences Bonn-Rhein-Sieg, Germany. As part of this, I performed a research project for my bachelor in the Institute of Molecular Psychiatry at the University of Bonn on the characterization of a glia-specific knock-out mouse line, hereby developing a keen interest for the field of neurological diseases. To complete my M.Sc., I investigated molecular processes occurring during osteogenesis using induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). In the Nott lab I plan to integrate my experience on working with iPSCs to elucidate functional relevance of neurodegenerative disease-associated risk variants.

Email: j.transfeld21@imperial.ac.uk

Kevin Ziegler

Kevin Ziegler

UK DRI PhD Student

Bio: I am a graduate student in the Department of Brain Sciences at Imperial College London. Prior to starting my PhD in the Nott lab, I completed both my Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Biotechnology at Hochschule Mannheim, University of Applied Sciences. During this time, I took the opportunity to gain research experience at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, the Centro de Investigaciones Biologicas, and most recently at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ). Of all the knowledge I gained during this time, neurological questions and the application of single cell sequencing technologies excited me the most. For my PhD, I am particularly interested in applying the latest epigenome based single cell technologies to uncover the well-kept secrets of dementia.

Email: k.ziegler21@imperial.ac.uk

Aydan Askarova

Aydan Askarova

Presidents Award PhD student

Bio: I am a PhD student at the UK Dementia Research Institute within Imperial College London. I received Imperial’s Presidential Scholarship to carry out my research under the supervision of Dr Alexi Nott on characterisation of gene regulatory networks of the brain vasculature that drive age-associated genetic susceptibility and genetic risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Prior to my PhD studies, I completed my MSc in Applied Genomics at Imperial College London and my BSc in Biology at Queen Mary University of London. My MSc project was focused on the identification of cell type specific risk in neurodegenerative disorders using integrative analysis of chromatin interaction data and H3K27ac distribution.

Email: aydan.askarova21@imperial.ac.uk

Research Technician

Katarina Gregorovicsova

Katarina Gregorovicsova

Research Technician

Bio: I hold a BSc in Natural Sciences from Durham University and MSc in Translational Neuroscience from Imperial College London, blending molecular neuroscience and psychology. I thoroughly relished my time during my master’s project at the Nott lab, exploring early-life susceptibility to Alzheimer’s through cell-type-specific gene regulatory elements, which earned me a Distinction. Currently, as a wet lab technician, I’m harnessing skills in nuclei isolation and ChIP-seq while delving into iPSC cell culture to unravel neuroepigenomic roles in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Balancing roles in the lab and at Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s Tissue Bank, I plan to strive towards a PhD in molecular neuroscience. The field intrigues me with its unanswered queries, and I’m thrilled to contribute to research seeking those answers.

Email: katarina.gregorovicsova22@imperial.ac.uk

Postgraduate Students

Janna van Dalen

Janna van Dalen

MSc Molecular Neurosciences student, Netherlands

Bio: I am a Master’s student in Molecular Neurosciences at the University of Amsterdam. I am visiting the Nott group for my second research project of my Master’s. The first project I completed at the University of Amsterdam, where I investigated H3K79 methylation by Dot1L. Before starting my Master’s, I completed my BSc in Biology and Medical laboratory Research at Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences. For this, I completed a project at the University of Oxford, where I investigated the influence of Runx1 on Endothelial-to-Haematopoietic transition. This is where I discovered my interest in epigenomics. During my visit here, I will be working with Kevin Ziegler and look into the epigenomics of the brain vasculature. I hope to follow up my Master’s with a PhD and apply my previous experiences.

Email: j.van-dalen22@imperial.ac.uk

Alumni

Austeja Dapkute

Austeja Dapkute

MSc Neuroscience and Biotechnology student, University of Bordeaux

Bio: I am a master’s student in Neuroscience and Biotechnology at the University of Bordeaux. In the Nott lab, I will do my second internship and work on my Master thesis. I completed my first master’s internship in EPFL, Gräff Laboratory of Neuroepigenetics, where I worked on a project researching novel rejuvenation approaches for Alzheimer's disease. I previously graduated from Vilnius University where I studied Medicine and earned an MD degree, followed by a Neurology residency which is expected to be completed in 2025.

Email: a.dapkute22@imperial.ac.uk

Parisa Rahbar

Parisa Rahbar

MSc Applied Genomics student, Imperial

Bio: I am a current Master's student pursuing Applied Genomics at Imperial College, with a previous degree in Genetics. My strong interest in neuroscience led me to undertake a research internship abroad, where I delved into studying the genetic underpinnings of neurodegeneration in animal models. Currently, I am enthusiastic about completing a project, under the guidance of Dr. Alexi Nott, that focuses on exploring the impact of genetic risk associated with Alzheimer's disease on the epigenome of neurovascular cell types.

Email: parisa.rahbar22@imperial.ac.uk

Michelle Lam

Michelle Lam

MSc Translational Neuroscience student, Imperial

Bio: I am a masters student on the MSc Translational Neuroscience course at Imperial. In the Nott lab, I will be under the supervision of Janis Transfeld. For this project, I will be directly converting patient fibroblasts into dopaminergic neurons to better understand age-related changes of the epigenome in Parkinson's disease. I also completed my BSc at Imperial on the Medical Biosciences course. For my final year project, I performed lipidomic analysis of isolated lysosomes from an Alzheimer's disease mouse model using LC-MS/MS. In the future, I hope to undertake a PhD to further develop my laboratory skills and understanding of neurodegenerative processes.

Email: michelle.lam19@imperial.ac.uk

Myrto Mavrotas

Myrto Mavrotas

MRes Experimental Neuroscience student

Bio: I am a psychiatrist by background who has taken a year away from clinical training in order to do my MRes In Experimental Neuroscience at Imperial. I will work on my second research project in the lab of Dr Alexi Nott. I am a graduate of King's College London (MBBS) and Imperial College (BSc in Medical Sciences - Haematology). Having developed an interest in the role of neuroinflammation in neuropsychiatric diseases during my clinical work I am confident that, under the supervision of Dr Nott, I will be able to learn a lot about the molecular and biochemical basis of neuroinflammation. I hope I will be able to pursue my specific interests further at a doctoral level sometime in the near future.

Email: myrto.mavrotas10@imperial.ac.uk

Natalie Figueredo Burgos

Natalie Figueredo Burgos

MRes Experimental Neuroscience student

Bio: I am master’s student in the Experimental Neuroscience programme at Imperial College London. I will be completing my first project under the supervision of Dr. Alexi Nott. Before I joined Imperial, I completed my BSc in Neuroscience at the University of Leeds. My final year project involved evaluating the temporal characteristics of neurogenesis in the postnatal mammalian olfactory bulb.

Email: n.figueredo-burgos21@imperial.ac.uk

Lucy Bedwell

Lucy Bedwell

Research Technician

Bio: I am a Research Technician following completion of my master’s in the Translational Neuroscience programme under the supervision of Dr. Alexi Nott. I previously graduated from the University of Nottingham where my final year research project involved examining the association of atypical language laterality with Schizotypal personality disorder. My research focuses on nuclear factors associated with modulation of microglia disease-associated states using a mouse model of inflammation. In the future I hope to pursue my research interests further by completing a PhD in the field of inflammation and neurodegenerative disease.

Email: lucy.bedwell20@imperial.ac.uk