Chair in Translational Neuroscience
PhD (Dr rer. nat.), Dipl. Biol., FSB
Bettina Platt graduated with distinction from the University of Mainz, Germany, in 1991 and received her PhD from the University of Düsseldorf, Germany, in 1994. After completing a prestigious personal European Fellowship at the University of Leeds, UK, Prof Platt joined the University of Aberdeen in 1997, initially within the Department of Biomedical Sciences. Prof Platt was promoted to Reader in 2007 and Full Professor (Chair in Translational Neuroscience) within the School of Medical Sciences in 2009. She heads a multi-disciplinary research team that investigates aspects of brain function and malfunction from the single molecule to the systems level. Prof Platt has acted as Research Director for a number of large research initiatives, some of which were co-funded by the pharmaceutical industry and the Scottish government. Her national and international collaborations have brought together novel research strategies, technologies and disciplines such as imaging, drug discovery, electronics, and computer science. Prof Platt has written over 80 full papers and reviews, edited and published books and book chapters in her area of expertise, organized symposia and regularly contributes to national and international conferences. She is a Fellow of the Society of Biology and a founding and Executive Board member of the Scottish Dementia Research Consortium. Additionally, Prof Platt is the lead of the Scottish Alzheimer Research UK (ARUK) network, and a member of the ARUK Scientific Advisory Board as well as the Alzheimer’s Society Grant Advisory Board.
Research interests: Mechanisms of neuronal plasticity, neurodegeneration and neuroprotection.
The amazing ability of the nervous system to learn and adapt to changing conditions forms the basis of our cognitive and intellectual abilities as humans, and how crucially we depend on this is demonstrated in patients suffering from neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD).
We are currently combining various procedures, from standard histology and immunocytochemistry, to cell death essays and more functional techniques based on electrophysiological and imaging techniques, as well as behavioural studies. Latest developments include the use of EEG recordings, and PET/CT applications. Together, we cover aspects from the systems to the single cell level, and even to single receptors / channels, for disease target identification, drug development and testing within the sector of CNS diseases.
The main projects currently under investigation can be summarised as follows:
1) Alzheimer’s disease and neurodegeneration: causes, biomarkers and treatments.
2) Mechanisms of neuronal plasticity.
3) Therapeutics in CNS disorders.
4) Translational technologies.
Alzheimer's disease, dementia, cognition, neurodegeneration, neurotoxicity, neuroprotection, neuronal plasticity, EEG, imaging, Ca signalling, plasticity.
Techniques and Skills:
1) Within Aberdeen University:
Prof Gernot Riedel (animal models / behaviour); Prof Roger Pertwee (cannabinoids); Prof Matteo Zanda (novel PET ligands); Dr Rod Scott & Prof Marcel Jaspars (natural toxins and cell transfection); Dr Derryck Shewan (neurite outgrowth / time lapse); Prof Andy Welch (PET/CT); Dr Hugh Seton (MRI); Dr Thiel, Dr Schelter & Prof Grebogi (Computer Science & Modelling); Dr Delibegovic & Dr Mody (phosphatases; diabetes and AD)
2) External Collaborators:
Prof Peer Wulff (viral strategies); Prof Jim Austin (University of York): EEG and image analyses, data sharing; Prof. Thanos Salifoglou (University of Crete, Greece): Aluminium speciation and toxicity; Prof. J. Micheau (Univ. Bordeaux II): CREB and hippocampal function, cell transfection, siRNA; Dr. Grazina Niewadomska (Univ. Warsaw, Poland): Tau pathology; Dr K. Bruce (U Penn., USA) and Dr Neel (U Ontario): Phosphatase knock-out mice.
3) Industry-based collaborators
Dr Karsten Wicke (Abbott / AbbVie), B Cruts (BrainMarker, The Netherlands), Dr Hong Wan (Pfizer), J McAvoy (Cybula) and Prof Hugh Marston (formerly Organon / MSD, now TPP).
Executive Board member, Scottish Dementia Research Consortium
North-East of Scotland Alzheimer Research UK (ARUK) network coordinator (preclinical)
Member of the ARUK Scientific Advisory Board
Alzheimer’s Society Grant Advisory Board.
Editorial Advisory Board, Recent Patents on CNS Drug Discovery