Lady Edith Wolfson Junior Non-Clinical Fellowship Award winner

Picture of Zsofia Laszlo

Jan 2022: MND Association Fellowship award for Dundee based early-career researcher.

Congratulations to Dr Zsofia Laszlo who has received a Lady Edith Wolfson Junior Non-Clinical Fellowship award.

Dr Zsofia Laszlo from the School of Medicine, University of Dundee and Euan MacDonald Centre, has been awarded a Lady Edith Wolfson Junior Non-Clinical Fellowship award by the Motor Neurone Disease Association (MND Association). This prestigious award provides funding for research and will be an excellent springboard for Zsofia to progress her career as an academic researcher.

Zsofia moved to Scotland in October 2020, after finishing her PhD at the Institute of Experimental Medicine in Budapest, Hungary. She joined the laboratory of Euan MacDonald Centre member Dr Chris Henstridge to investigate the mechanisms behind the loss of connection (synapses) between brain cells in MND. In the space of 12 months, and working under difficult Covid restrictions, she generated very exciting preliminary data thanks to a Tenovus Scotland grant, which built a solid foundation for her successful MND Association application. Zsofia will be funded by the MND Association for the next 2 years to develop this exciting work.

In the last few decades, increasing evidence suggests that in diseases like MND, brain cells come under attack from other cell types in the brain, called glia. These glia can turn rogue and begin to 'chew up' and ingest nearby synapses, breaking the connections between brain cells. This toxic process may partly explain why people with MND have weakened connections between their brain and their muscles. Zsofia will investigate the dynamics of synapse ingestion in real-time, using cells in a dish. To reinforce the importance of this process in human MND, she will also examine tissue from people with MND who have generously agreed to donate brain samples after their death. This valuable tissue resource will be stained with dyes to label synapses and activated glia to investigate their interaction in disease.

Zsofia said:

I'm very grateful to the MND Association for this fantastic opportunity. I hope that this project will provide critical new information on the role of glia in MND and potentially suggest new drug targets to delay or prevent synapse loss, which, after further confirmatory studies, could be taken forward into clinical trials. 




This article was published on: Thursday, January 20, 2022