Department: Comparative Biomedical Sciences

Campus: Camden

Research Groups: Musculoskeletal Biology

Sue joined the College in January 2010 as Reader in Translational Medicine.  The focus of Sue's work is to understand the muscle, eye and brain phenotype of a group of muscular dystrophies known as the 'secondary dystroglycanopathies'; which are forms of neuromuscular disease characterised by the altered glycosylation of alpha dystroglycan.

Sue studied Zoology with Botany at the University of Reading followed by a PhD in Muscle Development at the Royal Veterinary College. Since this time Sue has held appointments at the Royal Free Hospital, Guys’ Hospital Medical School, Royal Holloway College and Imperial College, London.

A MRC Career Development Grant whilst at Imperial enabled Sue to develop models for forms of muscular dystrophy linked to the altered glycosylation pattern of alpha dystroglycan (the dystroglycanopathies); work which she now continues at the Royal Veterinary College. Defects in the basement membranes of the eye, brain and muscle characterise the severe end of the clinical spectrum which is unusually wide in this group of disorders. Sue's main focus is in understanding how alterations in basement membrane formation lead to eye, brain and muscle involvement of some patients but not others who present solely with a muscular dystrophy. The ultimate goal of this work is to devise ways of intervening in the disease process.

Whitmore, C., Fernandez-Fuente, M., Booler, H., Parr, C., Kavishwar, M., Ashraf, A., Lacey, E., Kim, J., Terry, R., Ackroyd, M. R. Wells KE, Muntoni F, Wells DJ, Brown SC  (2014). The transgenic expression of LARGE exacerbates the muscle phenotype of dystroglycanopathy mice. Hum. Mol. Genet. Apr 1;23(7):1842-55.


Fernandez-Fuente, M., Martin-Duque, P., Vassaux, G., Brown, S. C., Muntoni, F., Terracciano, C. M. and Piercy, R. J. (2013). Adenovirus-mediated expression of myogenic differentiation factor 1 (MyoD) in equine and human dermal fibroblasts enables their conversion to caffeine-sensitive myotubes. Neuromuscul. Disord. Mar;24(3):250-8


Waite, A., Brown, S. C. and Blake, D. J. (2012). The dystrophin-glycoprotein complex in brain development and disease.  Trends Neurosci. 35, 487-496.


Ross, J., Benn, A., Jonuschies, J., Boldrin, L., Muntoni, F., Hewitt, J. E., Brown, S. C. and Morgan, J. E. (2012). Defects in glycosylation impair satellite stem cell function and niche composition in the muscles of the dystrophic Large(myd) mouse. Stem Cells 30, 2330-2341.


Ackroyd, M. R., Whitmore, C., Prior, S., Kaluarachchi, M., Nikolic, M., Mayer, U., Muntoni, F. and Brown, S. C. (2011). Fukutin-related protein alters the deposition of laminin in the eye and brain.  J. Neurosci. 31, 12927-12935.


Muntoni, F., Torelli, S., Wells, D. J. and Brown, S. C. (2011). Muscular dystrophies due to glycosylation defects: diagnosis and therapeutic strategies. Curr. Opin. Neurol. 24, 437-442.


Ackroyd, M. R., Skordis, L., Kaluarachchi, M., Godwin, J., Prior, S., Fidanboylu, M., Piercy, R. J., Muntoni, F. and Brown, S. C. (2009). Reduced expression of fukutin related protein in mice results in a model for fukutin related protein associated muscular dystrophies. Brain 132, 439-451.
 

Sue contributes to various teaching strands on the BVetScience and BVetMed Courses.