Dr Alessio Vagnoni

Alessio Vagnoni

University position

NC3Rs David Sainsbury Fellow


Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology

Home page

http://www2.mrc-lmb.cam.ac.uk/groups/... (personal home page)

Research Theme

Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


The main goal of my research is to better understand the mechanisms of neuronal ageing in vivo. I am particularly interested in studying how macromolecules, proteins and organelles are trafficked within neuronal axons and how this process is regulated over the lifetime of an organism, in health and disease states.

I am using the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster and murine models to study how axonal transport is regulated in space and time in the peripheral nervous system of these animals. By combining in vivo imaging studies in whole organisms with the use of neuronal cultures, my aim is to discover evolutionary conserved regulatory nodes of axonal transport in ageing neurons.

The knowledge gained from studying the mechanisms that underlie neuronal ageing will have significant implications for our understanding of age-dependent neurological disorders.

Top: Axonal mitochondria in the sensory neurons of an adult Drosophila wing (dpr-Gal4>mito::GFP). Bottom: typical kymograph of motile mitochondria in the wing nerve. Anterograde and retrograde movement is towards the synapse and cell body, respectively.
Click image to view full-size

Research Focus


Axonal transport


Drosophila melanogaster

Molecular motors


Clinical conditions

Alzheimer's disease


Motor neuron disease

Parkinson's disease


Cell culture

Cross-sectional and cohort studies

Intravital imaging