Dr Ryan West

Neuroscience, School of Medicine and Population Health

Research Fellow

+44 114 222 2239

Full contact details

Dr Ryan West
Neuroscience, School of Medicine and Population Health
Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience (SITraN)
385a Glossop Road
S10 2HQ

2019 – Present: SITraN Fellow and Alzheimer’s Society Fellow (SITraN, University of Sheffield)

2018 – 2019: Alzheimer’s Society Junior Fellow (University of Manchester)

2015 – 2018: Postdoctoral Research Associate (University of York)

2013-2015: Centre for Chronic Diseases and Disorders Wellcome Trust funded “Discipline hopping” Fellow (University of York)

Following an Industrial placement year at Eli Lilly, working on murine models of Parkinson’s Disease I moved to York in 2010 to do my PhD in the lab of Sean Sweeney, characterising a Drosophila model of Frontotemporal Dementia associated with the CHM2BIntron5 mutation. After my PhD I remained in York as Wellcome trust funded “discipline hopping” fellow looking at visual disturbances in Parkinson’s disease and then as a post-doc continuing my work on CHMP2B and the role of POSH as a JNK scaffold in FTD. In 2017 I was awarded an Alzheimer’s Society Fellowship and moved to Manchester in 2018. At the end of October 2019, I moved to SITraN to continue my Alzheimer’s Society Fellowship and take up a position as a SITraN Fellow. Here I am establishing Drosophila facilities within SITraN and continuing my work on Drosophila models of neurodegeneration.

Research interests

My research looks to use Drosophila melanogaster (fruit flies) as a powerful genetic model organism to dissect the molecular mechanisms contributing to neurodegenerative diseases including dementia, motor neurone disease and Parkinson’s disease. My primary research focuses on two overlapping neurodegenerative disorders, Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD) and Motor Neurone Disease (MND). I am particularly interested in how dipeptide-repeats associated with the disease causing hexanucleotide expansion within the C9orf72 gene contribute towards neurodegeneration. In the lab we have a number of Drosophila models of both FTD and MND including C9orf72 related DPRs, C9orf72 pure repeat models and models of CHMP2B, VCP and TDP-43 related disease. I am also interested in how we can use Drosophila as part of a translational pipeline both to understand the molecular mechanisms of disease and as part of a drug-screening strategy.

Current Projects

  1. Dissecting the role of POSH as a JNK Scaffold in Frontotemporal Dementia
  2. How physiologically relevant repeat length dipeptide-repeats interact in vivo to mediate neurodegeneration
  3. UDCA as a Neuroprotective compound in Drosophila models of Neurodegeneration
  4. Drosophila as a model for Drug Screens in Neurodegenerative Diseases

Journal articles


Research group

PhD Students

  • Duncan Garner (Dipeptide Repeat Interactions In Drosophila Models of C9orf72 Frontotemporal Dementia and Motor Neurone Disease)