Dr Alastair MacDonald
Postdoctoral Research Associate
RILD Building Level 4
University of Exeter Medical School, RILD Building, RD&E Hospital Wonford, Barrack Road, Exeter, EX2 5DW, UK
Alastair joined the University of Exeter as a PhD student on the GW4 BioMed MRC DTP in September 2016. In Kate Ellacott’s lab he investigated brain circuits controlling food intake in mice, with a focus on how astrocytes regulate satiety signaling. Since April 2020, Alastair has been a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Ellacott lab on a Diabetes UK-funded project investigating whether astrocytes are hypoglycemia sensors and if their activation is protective in situations of disrupted glucose homeostasis.
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- PhD, Medical Studies, University of Exeter
- MSc with Distinction, Integrative Neuroscience, University of Edinburgh
- BSc (Hons I), Neuroscience and Psychology, University of Aberdeen
Alastair’s broad interest is in brain circuits that control fundamental behaviours. Specifically he works on investigating a brain cell type called astrocytes in the brainstem of mice. These cells are elements of neural circuits that control homeostasis and physiology (MacDonald & Ellacott, Physiology and Behavior, 2020). Recently, the Ellacott and Pickering labs discovered that astrocytes in the brainstem were responsive to large meals and were capable of suppressing food intake in mice (MacDonald et. al, Glia, 2020). As a postdoc, Alastair has been studying whether astrocytes sense changes in blood glucose and whether their activation is protective against hypoglycemia in the hope that they may be identified as a target for diabetes therapy.
Brainstem astrocytes and the regulation of systemic glycaemia
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Alastair_MacDonald Details from cache as at 2021-09-23 05:15:24
Journal Club Facilitator - CSC2006 Foundations in Neuroscience