Dr Anthony Vernon - Using human iPSC microglia to study genetic and environmental influences on microglia form and function

Hybrid event in person and on Zoom, registration required, UG10 Murray Learning Centre
Monday 25 March 2024 (13:00-14:00)

Tracey Hill: t.hill.1@bham.ac.uk

Dr Anthony Vernon

In the Vernon laboratory, our interest in immunology centres on microglia and their potential pathological roles in psychiatric and neurological disorders1. To address this, we use microglia differentiated from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSC) as our principle research tool, coupled with a range of cellular assays incorporating the basic functions of these cells such as phagocytosis, motility, mitochondrial function and cytokine secretion and unbiased “omics” approaches2. Examples of current projects in the lab that I will introduce to illustrate our work include the influence of genetic variance on human microglia form and function. Specifically, we study rare highly penetrant copy number variants (e.g. 22q11.2 deletions); disease associated single nucleotide polymorphisms (e.g. P522R in PLCG2) using CRISPR/Cas9 engineering3 and polygenic risk associated with diagnosis of schizophrenia. We are also characterizing the impact of specific immune stimuli associated with maternal immune activation (MIA) on neurons and microglia, which recapitulates phenotypes associated with neurodevelopmental disorders4, 5.

  1. Mondelli, V., Vernon, A. C. et al. Lancet Psychiatry 4, 563-572, doi:10.1016/S2215-0366(17)30101-3 (2017).
  2. Hanger, B. et al. Front Psychiatry 11, 789, doi:10.3389/fpsyt.2020.00789 (2020).
  3. Shiden, S. et al. Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences; 79(8):453. doi: 10.1007/s00018-022-04473-1 (2022)
  4. Warre-Cornish, K. et al. Science Advances 6, eaay9506, doi:10.1126/sciadv.aay9506 (2020).
  5. Bhat, A. et al.  Brain Behaviour and Immunity; 105: 82-97. doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2022.06.010 (2022)/

Registration in advance is required: Register to attend 

About the Speaker

Dr Anthony Vernon, Reader in Neuropsychopharmacology, King's College London

Dr Anthony Vernon trained in Biochemistry (BSc) and Neuropharmacology (PhD) at Imperial College London, followed by post-doctoral fellowships with Dr Michel Modo and Professor Shitij Kapur at the Institute of Psychiatry (IOP), King’s College London (KCL). Dr Vernon was appointed to the IOP faculty in 2013 and is now a Reader in Neuropsychopharmacology at the Department of Basic and Clinical Neuroscience at the IOP. Dr Vernon is also a Group Leader and PhD training co-ordinator at the MRC Centre for Neurodevelopmental Disorders, King’s College London. 

This seminar is free to attend and is open to all, both within and outside the University.  Attendance is possible both in person and on zoom, registration details can be found above.  Registration in advance is required.  

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