News from the iDeAC Network

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Microglia: Jekyll and Hyde in the brain

Delphine Boche, Professor of Neuroimmunopathology in the Faculty of Medicine, will deliver her Inaugural Lecture this month (October), in which she will talk about her research into brain inflammation and degeneration and her journey to academia. Here, she talks about her research interests and aspirations.

What is your current research focus?

The immune cells of the brain, microglia, in different neurological conditions

Why did you decide to focus your career on that particular area of research?

By witnessing the consequences of dementia and mental health issues on the patient and their relatives.

What have been your biggest ‘eureka’ moments in this field?

Realizing the important role microglia are playing in the development of Alzheimer’s dementia.

How would you describe the rate of progress in your research field that you’ve witnessed?

Very rapidly in the last 10 years due to novel knowledge provided by genetics and our findings on the immunized Alzheimer’s patients.

How has the role of women in scientific research changed during the course of your career?

The acknowledgement and support by senior colleagues of our contribution in science has improved.

What would you say is your proudest career achievement?

My work on the unique cohort of immunized Alzheimer’s patients deciphering the 20-year-old amyloid cascade hypothesis of Alzheimer’s disease.

What excites you most about the future of your research field?

The hope that we are not too far in preventing dementia development and developing new management for patients with mental health issues.