Dr Julie Simpson

PhD

Department of Neuroscience

Senior Lecturer in Translational Neuropathology

julie.simpson@sheffield.ac.uk
+44 114 222 2242

Full contact details

Dr Julie Simpson
Department of Neuroscience
385a Glossop Road
Sheffield
S10 2HQ
Profile

I graduated from the University of Sheffield in 1995 with BSc (Hons) in Neuroscience, and was awarded a PhD in Neuroimmunology from Sheffield Hallam University in 1999. I joined the Department of Neuroscience at Sheffield University in 2002 and have been a member of the Neuropathology research group since 2004.  I was appointed Lecturer in Translational Neuropathology at SITraN in 2016 and Senior Lecturer in 2020.

Research interests

My main research interests are identifying and understanding neuroinflammatory contributions to ageing and dementia, particularly age-associated white matter pathology. My research primarily focusses on the detailed immunohistological characterisation and gene expression profiling of specific cell populations in the ageing brain. Investigating glial activation and function is crucial to understanding the inflammatory response in the ageing brain and their association with white matter pathology.

Current Projects

  1. Blood brain barrier dysfunction in the ageing brain
  2. Hypoxia-induced changes in glia and their role in the formation of age-associated white matter lesions
  3. Microglial-mediated mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases
Publications

Journal articles

Conference proceedings papers

  • Leach V, Goodall E, Cooper-Knock J, Wang C, Simpson J, Baker D, Drew D, Saffrey MJ, Romero I, Heath P & Wharton S (2019) Identification of miRNA and mRNA regulatory networks in the ageing blood-brain barrier: Comparative gene expression studies in human and mouse. NEUROPATHOLOGY AND APPLIED NEUROBIOLOGY, Vol. 45 (pp 31-31) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Waller R, Narramore R, Simpson J, Matthews F, Brayne C, Ince P, Kalaria R & Wharton S (2019) Heterogeneity of cellular inflammatory responses in ageing white matter and relationship to Alzheimer's and small vessel disease pathologies. NEUROPATHOLOGY AND APPLIED NEUROBIOLOGY, Vol. 45 (pp 17-17) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Vazquez-Villasenor I, Garwood CJ, Heath PR, Simpson JE & Wharton SB (2019) Investigating senescence activation in response to oxidative DNA damage in neurones in vitro. NEUROPATHOLOGY AND APPLIED NEUROBIOLOGY, Vol. 45 (pp 39-39) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Mistry H, Simpson J, Chambers A, Garwood C, Ince P, Heath P & Wharton S (2019) Cholesterol dysregulation in the neurone-astrocyte unit as an early contributor to neuronal dysfunction in Alzheimer's disease. NEUROPATHOLOGY AND APPLIED NEUROBIOLOGY, Vol. 45 (pp 15-16) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Rebollar MA, Wharton S, Francis S & Simpson J (2019) The effect of systemic atherosclerosis in the neurovascular unit. NEUROPATHOLOGY AND APPLIED NEUROBIOLOGY, Vol. 45 (pp 31-31) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Waller S, Baxter L, Fillingham D, Coelho S, Pozo JM, Mozumder M, Frangi A, Ince PG, Simpson JE & Highley JR (2019) Iba-1-/CD68+microglia are a prominent feature of age-associated deep subcortical white matter lesions. Neuropathology and Applied Neurobiology, Vol. 45(S1) (pp 33-33), 6 March 2019 - 8 March 2019. View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download
  • Ashford BA, Appleby-Mallinder CS, Heath P, Simpson JE & Highley R (2019) The role of immunity in human motor neuron disease (MND). NEUROPATHOLOGY AND APPLIED NEUROBIOLOGY, Vol. 45 (pp 24-24) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Seehra RS, Wharton S, Heath P, Ince P, Muthana M, Garwood C & Simpson J (2018) Hypoxia-induced changes in astrocytes and their role in the formation of age-associated white matter lesions. NEUROPATHOLOGY AND APPLIED NEUROBIOLOGY, Vol. 44 (pp 17-18) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Chambers A, Minett T, Matthews F, Brayne C, Ince P, Shaw P, Heath P, Simpson J & Wharton S (2018) Advanced glycosylated end products in the ageing brain. NEUROPATHOLOGY AND APPLIED NEUROBIOLOGY, Vol. 44 (pp 12-12) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Leach V, Goodall E, Cooper-Knock J, Wang J, Simpson J, Baker D, Drew D, Saffrey J, Romero I, Heath P & Wharton S (2018) Identification of miRNA and mRNA regulatory networks in the ageing blood-brain barrier: Comparative gene expression studies in human and mouse. NEUROPATHOLOGY AND APPLIED NEUROBIOLOGY, Vol. 44 (pp 36-36) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Coelho S, Highley R, Pozo J, Costantini M, Mozumder M, Simpson J, Ince P & Frangi A (2018) Local volume fraction distributions of axons, astrocytes, and myelin in deep subcortical white matter lesions and normal white matter in the ageing brain. NEUROPATHOLOGY AND APPLIED NEUROBIOLOGY, Vol. 44 (pp 26-26) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Ameen-Ali KE, Simpson JE, Wharton SB, Heath PR, Sharp P & Berwick J (2017) Early cellular changes and cognitive decline in an Alzheimer's mouse model. NEUROPATHOLOGY AND APPLIED NEUROBIOLOGY, Vol. 43 (pp 42-43) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Vazquez-Villasenor I, Simpson JE, Garwood CJ, Ince PG, Heath PR & Wharton SB (2017) Neuronal senescence as a contributor to neurodegeneration. NEUROPATHOLOGY AND APPLIED NEUROBIOLOGY, Vol. 43 (pp 43-43) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Ratcliffe L, Garwood CJ, Heath P, Villasenor I, Simpson J, Ince PG & Wharton SB (2016) Impairment of IGF1 signalling in human astrocytes and it's effect on astrocyte support for neurons. NEUROPATHOLOGY AND APPLIED NEUROBIOLOGY, Vol. 42 (pp 51-52) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Vazquez-Villasenor I, Simpson JE, Garwood C, Ince PG, Heath P & Wharton SB (2016) Neuronal senescence as a contributor to neurodegeneration. NEUROPATHOLOGY AND APPLIED NEUROBIOLOGY, Vol. 42 (pp 27-28) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Mathur R, Ince PG, Minett T, Garwood CJ, Shaw PJ, Matthews FE, Brayne C, Simpson JE, Wharton SB & Ageing MRCCF (2015) A reduced astrocyte response to beta-amyloid plaques in the ageing brain associates with dementia and cognitive impairment. NEUROPATHOLOGY AND APPLIED NEUROBIOLOGY, Vol. 41 (pp 30-31) View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download
  • Vazquez-Villasenor I, Simpson JE, Garwood C, Ince PG, Heath P & Wharton SB (2015) Neuronal senescence as a contributor to neurodegeneration. NEUROPATHOLOGY AND APPLIED NEUROBIOLOGY, Vol. 41 (pp 32-32) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Ramos I, Walter R, Simpson J, Woodroofe N & Lyng F (2014) Probing the biochemical composition of normal appearance white matter, active and chronic lesions from multiple sclerosis cases using vibrational spectroscopy. Journal of Neuroimmunology, Vol. 275(1-2) (pp 128-128) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Alsomali KY, Simpson J & Heath PR (2014) Investigating RNA editing in the pathogenesis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. FEBS JOURNAL, Vol. 281 (pp 685-686) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Simpson JE, Ince PG, Matthews F, Shaw PJ, Heath PR, Brayne C, Garwood C, Abdalla H, Higginbottom A & Wharton SB (2014) A neuronal DNA damage response is detected at low Braak stages and correlates with cognitive impairment in the ageing brain. NEUROPATHOLOGY AND APPLIED NEUROBIOLOGY, Vol. 40 (pp 31-32) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Al-Mashhadi SA, Simpson JE, Heath PR, Dickman MJ, Ince PG & Wharton SB (2014) Oxidative stress and DNA damage in cerebral white matter lesions of the ageing human brain. NEUROPATHOLOGY AND APPLIED NEUROBIOLOGY, Vol. 40 (pp 33-34) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Al-Mashhadi SA, Simpson JE, Heath PR, Dickman MJ, Ince PG & Wharton SB (2013) Oxidative stress and DNA damage in cerebral white matter lesions of the ageing human brain. NEUROPATHOLOGY AND APPLIED NEUROBIOLOGY, Vol. 39 (pp 36-37) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Ince PG, Janaway B, Wharton SB, Simpson JE, Highley JR, Matthews FE, Forster G & Brayne C (2013) Evidence for an ischemic origin of deep brain 'microbleeds'. CEREBROVASCULAR DISEASES, Vol. 35 (pp 42-42) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Lopez-Ramirez MA, Wu D, Pryce G, Simpson JE, Reijerkerk A, King-Robson J, de Vries HE, Hirst MC, Sharrack B, Baker D , Michael GJ et al (2012) Endothelial miR-155 promotes blood brain barrier dysfunction in neuroinflammation. JOURNAL OF NEUROIMMUNOLOGY, Vol. 253(1-2) (pp 3-4) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Waller R, Heath PR, Woodroofe MN, Francese S, Wharton SB, Ince PG, Sharrack B & Simpson JE (2012) Microarray analysis of the astrocyte transcriptome in normal appearing white matter in multiple sclerosis. JOURNAL OF NEUROIMMUNOLOGY, Vol. 253(1-2) (pp 54-54) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Simpson J, Richardson K, Heath P & Wharton S (2011) Oxidative nucleic acid damage in motor neuron disease. NEUROPATHOLOGY AND APPLIED NEUROBIOLOGY, Vol. 37 (pp 36-36) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Simpson JE, Ince PG, Heath PR, Raman R, Shaw PJ, Gelsthorpe C, Baxter L, Forster G, Matthews F, Savva G , Brayne C et al (2011) Microarray analysis of the astrocyte transcriptome in the ageing brain: relationship to Alzheimer's pathology and ApoE genotype. NEUROPATHOLOGY AND APPLIED NEUROBIOLOGY, Vol. 37 (pp 33-33) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Simpson J, Ince P, Heath P, Raman R, Shaw P, Gelsthorpe C, Baxter L, Forster G, Matthews F, Savva G , Brayne C et al (2010) Microarray analysis of the astrocyte transcriptome in the ageing brain: relationship to Alzheimer's pathology and ApoE genotype. BRAIN PATHOLOGY, Vol. 20 (pp 46-46) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Simpson JE, Ince PG, Theaker R, Haynes L, Forster G, Shaw PJ, Matthews F, Savva G, Brayne C, Wharton SB & MRC Cognitive Function & Ageing Ne (2009) Evidence of an astrocytic DNA damage response to oxidative stress in the ageing brain. NEUROPATHOLOGY AND APPLIED NEUROBIOLOGY, Vol. 35 (pp 18-19) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Simpson J, Ince P, Theaker R, Haynes L, Forster G, Shaw P, Matthews F, Savva G, Brayne C & Wharton S (2008) DNA oxidative damage and repair mechanisms in astrocytes, and their relationship to Alzheimer-type pathology in the ageing brain. JOURNAL OF NEURAL TRANSMISSION, Vol. 115(12) (pp 1727-1727) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Hosny O, Kirby J, Simpson J & Ince P (2008) Iron metabolism pathways in white matter lesions in the elderly. JOURNAL OF NEURAL TRANSMISSION, Vol. 115(12) (pp 1717-1718) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Simpson JE, Ince PG, Lace G, Forster G, Shaw PJ, Matthews F, Brayne C, Wharton SB & MRC Cognitive Function Ageing (2008) Characterisation of astrocytes in relation to Alzheimer-type pathology in the ageing brain using a population-based neuropathology cohort. NEUROPATHOLOGY AND APPLIED NEUROBIOLOGY, Vol. 34 (pp 31-31) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Simpson JE, El-Sayed OH, Wharton SB, Heath P, Holden H, Forster G, Fernando MS, Matthews F, Brayne C, Lewis CE , Barber R et al (2008) Microarray gene expression analysis of deep subcortical lesions in the ageing brain reveals changes in multiple functional pathways. NEUROPATHOLOGY AND APPLIED NEUROBIOLOGY, Vol. 34 (pp 30-31) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Simpson JE, El-Sayed OH, Wharton SB, Heath P, Holden H, Forster G, Fernando MS, Matthews F, Brayne C, Lewis CE , Barber R et al (2007) Microarray gene expression profiling of deep subcortical lesions in the ageing brain. NEUROPATHOLOGY AND APPLIED NEUROBIOLOGY, Vol. 33(2) (pp 254-255) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Simpson JE, Higham CE, Gelsthorpe CH, Fernando MS, Matthews F, Forster G, O'Brien JT, Barber R, Kalaria RN, Brayne C , Shaw PJ et al (2007) Microglial activation in white matter of the ageing brain. NEUROPATHOLOGY AND APPLIED NEUROBIOLOGY, Vol. 33(2) (pp 255-255) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Hosny O, Highley JR, Simpson JE, Forster G, Wharton SB & Ince PG (2007) Axonal number and myelin sheath degeneration in MRI hyperintense white matter lesions in the aging brain. NEUROPATHOLOGY AND APPLIED NEUROBIOLOGY, Vol. 33(2) (pp 266-267) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Ince PG, Fernando MS, Matthews F, Brayne C, Wharton SB, O'Brien JT, Lewis C, Kalaria RN, Shaw PJ & Simpson J (2006) Molecular markers of tissue hypoxia and glial pathology associated with incidental white matter lesions in the ageing brain. BRAIN PATHOLOGY, Vol. 16 (pp S92-S92) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Simpson JE, Fernando MS, Matthews F, Brayne C, Lewis CE, Barber R, Kalaria RN, Forster G, Esteves F, Wharton SB , Shaw PJ et al (2006) Molecular markers of tissue hypoxia are associated with deep subcortical white matter lesions in the ageing brain. NEUROPATHOLOGY AND APPLIED NEUROBIOLOGY, Vol. 32(2) (pp 224-224) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Simpson JE, Fernando MS, Clark L, Ince PG, Matthews F, Forster G, O'Brien JT, Barber R, Kalaria RN, Brayne C , Shaw PJ et al (2006) Glial cell pathology of periventricular and deep white matter lesions in the ageing brain. NEUROPATHOLOGY AND APPLIED NEUROBIOLOGY, Vol. 32(2) (pp 224-225) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Owasil R, O’Neill R, Keable A, Nimmo J, MacGregor Sharp M, Kelly L, Saito S, Simpson JE, Weller RO, Smith C , Attems J et al () The Pattern of AQP4 Expression in the Ageing Human Brain and in Cerebral Amyloid Angiopathy. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, Vol. 21(4) (pp 1225-1225) RIS download Bibtex download
Research group

PhD students

  • Taghreed Almansouri. Supervisors: JE Simpson, F Van Eeden "Hypoxia-mediated changes in the microglial phenotype of age-associated white matter lesions and a zebrafish model"
  • Mara Floare.  Supervisors: JE Simpson, M Hadjivassilou  TG6 autoimmunity and the development of neurological dysfunction in gluten sensitivity related disorders”
  • Monica Rebollar Gaugnelli. Supervisors: SB Wharton; S Francis; JE Simpson The Effects of Systemic Atherosclerosis on the Brain Neurovascular Unit
  • Bridget Ashford.  Supervisors: R Highley, JE Simpson Microglial Pathology In Human Motor Neurone Disease”
Teaching activities

I am involved in teaching on all MSc courses within the Department of Neuroscience.  I am Course Lead of the MSc Translational Neuropathology, a course which combines core teaching of the fundamental aspects of the major neuropathological diseases with significant emphasis on the development of practical laboratory skills, and Course Lead of the MSc Translational Neuroscience, a course which is focused on the molecular basis of neurodegeneration, and looks at how laboratory research relating to brain structure and function informs the development of new therapies for diseases of the nervous system.  

I was awarded a Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education from Sheffield Hallam University in 1999, became a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2011, and a Senior Fellow of the HEA in 2019.

Professional activities
  • Alzheimer’s Research UK Yorkshire Network Co-ordinator
  • Peer review of submitted papers for journals including Acta Neuropathologica, Brain Behaviour & Immunity, Glia, Journal of Neuroimmunology, Neuropathology and Applied Neurobiology, Neuroscience Letters, FASEB and PLOS One.
  • Peer review of grant applications for funding bodies including the Alzheimer's Society, MRC, BBSRC and NC3Rs.
  • Ethics reviewer for the School of Medicine

Membership of Associations and Societies

  • British Neuropathological Society
  • British Neuroscience Association
  • British Society for Research on Ageing
  • Pathological Society