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Home > Research > Researchers > Jane Owen-Lynch
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Current Postgraduate Research Students

Jane Owen-Lynch supervises 2 postgraduate research students. Some of the students have produced research profiles, these are listed below:

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Dr Jane Owen-Lynch

Senior Lecturer, Head of Department

Jane Owen-Lynch

Furness Building

Lancaster University

Bailrigg

Lancaster LA1 4YG

United Kingdom

Tel: +44 1524 592330

Location:

Research overview

a)      The Role of Cerebrospinal Fluid in Normal and Hydrocephalic Cerebrocortical Development.

Investigating why development of the cerebral cortex is abnormal in early-onset HC.

 b)      The role of the Endothelium in the Dynamics of Blood Flow: Effects of the Ageing Process

In collaboration with Aneta Stefanovska and Peter McClintock in Physics investigating the role of the endothelium in the non-linear dynamics of blood flow.

 c)      Biochemical Markers of the Acute Stress Response.

In collaboration with Sandra Sünram-Lea in Psychology examining the regulation of the response to acute stress from both naturalistic and laboratory based stressors.

Current Research

a)      Folate metabolism and transport in the developing brain: Comparison of normal and hydrocephalic development.

 b)      The role of membrane potential and ion channel activity in the vascular endothelium in the dynamics of blood flow.

 c)      Effects of energy drinks in the modulation of the acute stress response.

Research Interests

Work in my laboratory is highly collaborative and utilises my expertise in abnormal stem and progenitor cell function, blood cell function and biochemical analysis.

 a)      The Role of Cerebrospinal Fluid in Normal and Hydrocephalic Cerebrocortical Development.

Hydrocephalus (HC) is a condition with multifactor aetiology characterised by excess of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in the brain. Treatment usually involves surgical drainage of the CSF through insertion of a shunt but despite shunting many of the infants have major neurological deficits which are linked to abnormal development of the cerebral cortex in the fetus.

My work, in collaboration with colleagues in Manchester (initially UMIST) investigated why development of the cerebral cortex is abnormal in early-onset HC. We identified an inhibition of the progression through the cell cycle of stem cells in the germinal epithelium resulting in the individual being born with fewer neuronal layers in the cortex.

 Main Achievements: Defining reduced folate availability in the cortex as the primary mechanism of stem cell inactivity and development of strategies in animal models, through manipulation of the maternal diet, to minimise defective development and reduce the incidence of HC. This work resulted in a patent and the hypotheses are currently being tested with human samples, with early clinical trials imminent.

 b)      The role of the Endothelium in the Dynamics of Blood Flow: Effects of the Ageing Process

In collaboration with Aneta Stefanovska and Peter McClintock in Physics my interests in the function and control of blood cells has led to collaborative projects investigating the non-linear dynamics of blood flow using techniques such as Laser Doppler Flowmetry. In particular we are focused on the role of the endothelium in its contribution to the low frequency components of the dynamics and how this changes with age. We are currently investigating the role of membrane voltage and ion channel activity in this process.

 Main Achievements: Establishing a database of these dynamic measurements across the healthy ageing population to provide a base line for the analysis of deviations from these normal parameters in specific diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer.

 c)      Biochemical Markers of the Acute Stress Response.

In collaboration with Sandra Sünram-Lea in Psychology, my interests in the analysis of cytokines and biochemical markers led to current research examining the regulation of the response to acute stress from both naturalistic stressors, including fire-fighter and navy training courses, and laboratory based stressors. Early work led to more recent industrial collaborations with the energy drinks industry to look at the effects of these on the stress response.

 Main Achievements: Generating evidence of how acute stress can interfere with cognitive and memory functions and linking these with biochemical markers of stress such as cortisol.

Early Research:-

My PhD project was focused on the receptor effector mechanisms associated with the secretion of catecholamines from adrenal chromaffin cells in response to non-cholinergic agonists. During this project I gained a wide experience of tissue culture and developed several biochemical assays to measure intracellular phospholipid derived signalling events within these primary cell cultures.

This experience was put to good use in my postdoctoral and fellowship work at UMIST elucidating the signalling pathways involved in the action of the Bcr-Abl protein, the causative agent in chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) and elucidating the mode of action of haemopoietic growth factors and inhibitors in normal haemopoiesis. More physiologically relevant models of the disease CML, using multipotent haemopoietic cell lines, were also developed. The overall objective was to identify possible novel approaches for the treatment of CML and to test such approaches using samples from normal and leukaemic patients.  

Main achievements: Development of physiologically relevant multipotent model cell  lines of CML, identification of the signalling protein PKCβII as a major player in Bcr-Abl action and elucidating the important function of the actin binding domains and cell adhesion in leukaemic cell survival.

 

Current Teaching

Undergraduate:-

BIOL321 Immunology

BIOL283 Haematology and Trasfusion Science

BIOL284 Practical Physiology

BIOL387 Biological Sciences Research Projects

BIOL389 Bioscience Research Project

BIOL390 Bioscience Literature Review

Postgraduate

BIOL434 Therapeutics in Immunology

Biol467 Drug Discovery

My Role

Head of Division

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