Title of project or programme
Title of PIThe molecular determinants of the aggregation and toxicity of peptides and proteins
Principal Investigators of project/programme grant
DrDamianCrowtherUniversity of CambridgeUK
Address of institution of lead PI
InstitutionUniversity of Cambridge
Street AddressThe Old Schools, Trinity Lane
PostcodeCB2 1TN
  • United Kingdom
Source of funding information

Medical Research Council

Total sum awarded (Euro)


Start date of award


Total duration of award in months


The project/programme is most relevant to
  • Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias
  • Neurodegenerative disease in general
Research abstract in English

This proposal brings together a group of people with a wide range of skills from the Departments of Chemistry, Physics, Nanoscience, Genetics and Medicine to investigate the fundamental causes of a range of diseases that are caused by protein misfolding and aggregation. Our project is based on three key advances that have occurred in Cambridge, the first is the understanding that the potential to form amyloid fibrils is a common, if not fundamental, property of all proteins. The second is the discovery that we can accurately predict the aggregation propensity of proteins knowing only their amino acid sequences. The third advance has been the development of Drosophila models of protein aggregation diseases. We will focus on understanding the fundamental mechanisms that underlie a range of protein misfolding disorders and use our range of skills to carefully observe protein aggregation in the test tube, interpret the data using sophisticated computer algorithms and use Drosophila model systems to provide further insights into pathological significance. We will extend our preliminary studies on the Abeta peptide and investigate other proteins implicated in neurological disorders and so formulate a quantitative model that describes the molecular determinants of peptide and protein aggregation and toxicity. Such a powerful understanding of fundamental disease mechanisms will provide us with new opportunities and strategies for therapeutic intervention.

Lay summary
In which category does this research fall?
  • Basic research

    Types: Investments > €500k
    Member States: United Kingdom
    Diseases: Alzheimer's disease & other dementias, Neurodegenerative disease in general
    Years: 2011
    Database Categories: N/A
    Database Tags: N/A

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