Megan Lovatt

SSA Cryo-electron Tomography of Activated Mammalian Synapses

About me

I graduated from the University of Leeds in 2019 with a first-class degree in Pharmacology (BSc, MBiol). During my studies, I received funding via the Jennifer Rowles studentship to investigate the applications of histone deacetylase-2 inhibitors in Multiple Sclerosis, supervised by Dr. Ian Wood. Moreover, my MBiol dissertation, supervised by Dr. Lin-Hua Jiang, focussed on the role of Transient Receptor Potential Melastatin-2 (TRPM2) channels in Alzheimer’s disease-related pericyte dysfunction. Such opportunities developed my interests in neuroscience, inspiring me to pursue a PhD in this field. Currently, I am working on my PhD project investigating the structural changes that occur at memory-related synapses during long-term memory acquisition.

My project

My research applies an integrated approach involving both structural biology and molecular neuroscience in order to investigate the wiring of the brain at the molecular level. Neuronal communication is mediated by synapses, which are junctions between neurons responsible for processing and storing information. I am particularly interested in the structures of synapses involved in the acquisition of long-term memory. I utilise a combination of cutting-edge mouse genetics, cryo-CLEM and tomography to gain information-rich insights into memory-associated synaptic structure.