Katharina Russell

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM)

PhD Student

Department of Wine, Food and Molecular Biosciences, Lincoln University,

PhD Student

New Zealand Brain Research Institute, Christchurch

My PhD project is a part of the Batten Animal Research Network (BARN). We work with sheep models of Batten disease, which is a neurodegenerative lysosomal storage disease leading to child dementia that it is fatal and to date there is no cure. While my colleagues are investigating possible treatments, my role is to refine and extend our catalogue of tools for longitudinal monitoring. With brain atrophy and visual loss being key features of Batten disease, my focus is on in vivo techniques like neuroimaging (both CT and MRI) and electrophysiology of the eye as well as neuropathological studies on brains in the lab. With my veterinary background, I am still extending my neuroscience-horizon and enjoy the multidisciplinary nature of my work.