Lauryn New

Profile

2018-present: Postdoctoral research fellow in neuroscience in Dr. Beatrice Filippi's lab investigating the mechanisms of insulin sensing in the dorsal vagal complex (DVC) of the brain

2014-2019: PhD Neuroscience, thesis title: GABAergic regulation of proliferation within the postnatal spinal cord, University of Leeds 

2010-2014: BSc Neuroscience, 1st class (Hons), University of Leeds

Research interests

Upon completion of my BSc I began my PhD with Prof. Jim Deuchars and Dr. Susan Deuchars at Leeds; investigating adult neurogenesis in the CNS. It is only within the last 50 years that we have begun to understand that neural stem cells exist within the adult CNS and that these pools of new cells may be manipulated for neural repair in conditions such as stroke, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, and multiple sclerosis. The existence of neurogenesis within the hippocampus and subventricular zones of the brain are well established, however, the existence of a stem cell niche within the adult spinal cord remains controversial. Using techniques such as in vivo treatment with EdU, GABAergic modulators, and transgenic mouse lines, alongside immunohistochemistry and confocal microscopy, my PhD project sought to investigate how GABA influences proliferation and differentiation within the postnatal murine spinal cord. Following injury neural stem cells of the spinal cord are reawakened, therefore I was particularly interested in how endogenous regulatory mechanisms of GABAergic signalling such as diazepam binding inhibitor, may be involved in maintaining dormancy within neural stem cells of the postnatal intact spinal cord. 

Following on from my PhD I started as a research fellow in neuroscience under the supervision of Dr. Beatrice Filippi. My current project aims to uncover the neuronal networks involved in insulin sensing in the DVC and subsequent regulation of glucose metabolism and feeding behaviour. The NTS in the DVC receives sensory information from vagal afferent fibres that carry information from the viscera. The NTS then relays and integrates this information to different brain areas including the hypothalamus, which regulates food intake and metabolic behaviour, and the dorsal motor nucleus, which signals to the viscera to coordinate gastric reflexes, motility and emptying. NTS neurones contain fast neurotransmitters such as γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), glutamate, catecholamines, and serotonin, as well as multiple neuropeptides such as glucagon-like peptide 1 and enkephalins which all modulate neuronal activity. However, which NTS neuronal cell types play a role in the response to insulin to regulate food intake is an important and currently unresolved question. Using a variety of in vivo, in vitro, and ex vivo techniques, we are currently investigating the effects that DVC insulin sensing and resistance have on hepatic glucose production and on whole-body glucose regulation, in an effort to understand the neuronal cell types and neurotransmitters which are involved in these processes. 

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://biologicalsciences.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>

Qualifications

  • PhD in Neuroscience, University of Leeds
  • BSc Neuroscience, 1st class (Hons), University of Leeds