Dr Ruma Raha-Chowdhury

Ruma Raha-Chowdhury

University position

Scientific Advisor for Molecular Neuroscience

Dr Ruma Raha-Chowdhury is pleased to consider applications from prospective PhD students.


Department of Clinical Neurosciences


Cambridge Centre for Brain Repair



Home page


Research Themes

Clinical and Veterinary Neuroscience

Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


My main interest is in innate immunity, inflammation and brain iron homeostasis.

Inflammation and innate immunity are key players in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Down syndrome (DS). Individuals with DS have a spectrum of hematopoietic dysfunctions, and by 40 years almost all develop AD neuropathology. We are currently investigating the function of TREM2 in DS and have reported its crucial role in brain neuroprotection and plasticity (Raha et al., 2016).

Hepcidin is the principle regulator of systemic iron homeostasis, which has been shown to be impaired in the brain in many neurological disorders ranging from acute brain injury, cerebrovascular haemorrhage, Down Syndrome, Parkinson’s diseases and Alzheimer’s disease (Raha-Chowdhury et al., 2015; Raha et al., 2013).

Hippocampus culture-Pro-BDNF(red) and BDNF(green) expression
Confocal image of Hippocampus culture-Pro-BDNF(red) and BDNF(green) expression, talen by Alex Raha
Click image to view full-size

Research Focus



innate immunity


Iron Homeostasis


Clinical conditions

Alzheimer's disease


Down's syndrome

Genetic disorders

Parkinson's disease

Traumatic brain injury


Cell culture

Confocal microscopy

Enzyme assays

Fluorescence microscopy



Molecular biology techniques

Protein purification

Recombinant protein expression



Kieran Allinson

Tony Holland

Hugh Marcus

John O'Brien

Dora Pereira

Shahid Zaman

United Kingdom

Adrian Bomford Web: http://adrian.bomford@kcl.ac.uk


Robert Paul Friedland Web: http://robert.friedland@louisville.edu

Jeffrey Gruen Web: http://jeffrey.gruen@yale.edu

Sherman Weissman Web: http://sherman.weissman@yale.edu

Associated News Items



    Raha AA, Vaishnav RA, Friedland RP, Bomford A, Raha-Chowdhury R (2013), “The systemic iron-regulatory proteins hepcidin and ferroportin are reduced in the brain in Alzheimer's disease.” Acta Neuropathol Commun 1(1):55 Details


    Olsson S, Raha-Chowdhury R (2012), “Letter to the editor.” Eur J Haematol 88(2):179-80 Details


    Cordero-Llana O, Scott SA, Maslen SL, Anderson JM, Boyle J, Chowhdury RR, Tyers P, Barker RA, Kelly CM, Rosser AE, Stephens E, Chandran S, Caldwell MA (2011), “Clusterin secreted by astrocytes enhances neuronal differentiation from human neural precursor cells.” Cell Death Differ 18(5):907-13 Details

    Olsson KS, Konar J, Dufva IH, Ricksten A, Raha-Chowdhury R (2011), “Was the C282Y mutation an Irish Gaelic mutation that the Vikings helped disseminate? HLA haplotype observations of hemochromatosis from the west coast of Sweden.” Eur J Haematol 86(1):75-82 Details


    Olsson KS, Ritter B, Raha-Chowdhury R (2010), “HLA-A3-B14 and the origin of the haemochromatosis C282Y mutation: founder effects and recombination events during 12 generations in a Scandinavian family with major iron overload.” Eur J Haematol 84(2):145-53 Details


    Vogelaar CF, Gervasi NM, Gumy LF, Story DJ, Raha-Chowdhury R, Leung KM, Holt CE, Fawcett JW (2009), “Axonal mRNAs: characterisation and role in the growth and regeneration of dorsal root ganglion axons and growth cones.” Mol Cell Neurosci 42(2):102-15 Details

    Zhao JW, Raha-Chowdhury R, Fawcett JW, Watts C (2009), “Astrocytes and oligodendrocytes can be generated from NG2+ progenitors after acute brain injury: intracellular localization of oligodendrocyte transcription factor 2 is associated with their fate choice.” Eur J Neurosci 29(9):1853-69 Details


    Olsson KS, Ritter B, Hansson N, Chowdhury RR (2008), “HLA haplotype map of river valley populations with hemochromatosis traced through five centuries in Central Sweden.” Eur J Haematol 81(1):36-46 Details

    Properzi F, Lin R, Kwok J, Naidu M, van Kuppevelt TH, Ten Dam GB, Camargo LM, Raha-Chowdhury R, Furukawa Y, Mikami T, Sugahara K, Fawcett JW (2008), “Heparan sulphate proteoglycans in glia and in the normal and injured CNS: expression of sulphotransferases and changes in sulphation.” Eur J Neurosci 27(3):593-604 Details


    Barraud P, He X, Zhao C, Ibanez C, Raha-Chowdhury R, Caldwell MA, Franklin RJ (2007), “Contrasting effects of basic fibroblast growth factor and epidermal growth factor on mouse neonatal olfactory mucosa cells.” Eur J Neurosci 26(12):3345-57 Details


    Michell AW, Barker RA, Raha SK, Raha-Chowdhury R (2005), “A case of late onset sporadic Parkinson's disease with an A53T mutation in alpha-synuclein.” J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 76(4):596-7 Details

    Raha-Chowdhury R, Andrews SR, Gruen JR (2005), “CAT 53: a protein phosphatase 1 nuclear targeting subunit encoded in the MHC Class I region strongly expressed in regions of the brain involved in memory, learning, and Alzheimer's disease.” Brain Res Mol Brain Res 138(1):70-83 Details


    Turic D, Robinson L, Duke M, Morris DW, Webb V, Hamshere M, Milham C, Hopkin E, Pound K, Fernando S, Grierson A, Easton M, Williams N, Van Den Bree M, Chowdhury R, Gruen J, Stevenson J, Krawczak M, Owen MJ, O'Donovan MC, Williams J (2003), “Linkage disequilibrium mapping provides further evidence of a gene for reading disability on chromosome 6p21.3-22.” Mol Psychiatry 8(2):176-85 Details


    Bell H, Berg JP, Undlien DE, Distante S, Raknerud N, Heier HE, Try K, Thomassen Y, Haug E, Raha-Chowdhury R, Thorsby E (2000), “The clinical expression of hemochromatosis in Oslo, Norway. Excessive oral iron intake may lead to secondary hemochromatosis even in HFE C282Y mutation negative subjects.” Scand J Gastroenterol 35(12):1301-7 Details

    Eklund AC, Belchak MM, Lapidos K, Raha-Chowdhury R, Ober C (2000), “Polymorphisms in the HLA-linked olfactory receptor genes in the Hutterites.” Hum Immunol 61(7):711-7 Details

    Raha-Chowdhury R, Gruen R (2000), “Localisation, allelic heterogeneity, and origin of the hemochromatosis gene. Haemochromatosis, Genetics pathophysiology, diagnosis, and treatment, edited by Barton and Edwards, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, U.K” Chapter 7:75-90

    Sivakamasundari R, Raghunathan A, Zhang CY, Chowdhury RR, Weissman SM (2000), “Expression and cellular localization of the protein encoded by the 1C7 gene: a recently described component of the MHC.” Immunogenetics 51(8-9):723-32 Details


    Goei VL, Choi J, Ahn J, Bowlus CL, Raha-Chowdhury R, Gruen JR (1998), “Human gamma-aminobutyric acid B receptor gene: complementary DNA cloning, expression, chromosomal location, and genomic organization.” Biol Psychiatry 44(8):659-66 Details


    (1997), A simple genetic test identifies 90% of UK patients with haemochromatosis. The UK Haemochromatosis Consortium, Gut 41(6):841–4

    Rhodes DA, Raha-Chowdhury R, Cox TM, Trowsdale J (1997), “Homozygosity for the predominant Cys282Tyr mutation and absence of disease expression in hereditary haemochromatosis.” J Med Genet 34(9):761-4 Details

    Robson KJ, Shearman JD, Merryweather-Clarke AT, Pointon JJ, Rosenberg WM, Walker AP, Dooley JS, Bomford A, Raha-Chowdhury R, Worwood M (1997), “Haemochromatosis: a gene at last?” J Med Genet 34(2):148-51 Details

    Worwood M, Raha Chowdhury R, Robson KJ, Pointon J, Shearman JD, Darke C (1997), “The HLA A1-B8 haplotype extends 6 Mb beyond HLA-A: associations between HLA-A, B, F and 15 microsatellite markers.” Tissue Antigens 50(5):521-6 Details


    Raha-Chowdhury R, Bowen DJ, Worwood M (1996), “A new highly polymorphic marker in the 5' untranslated region of HLA-F shows strong allelic association with haemochromatosis.” Hum Genet 97(2):228-31 Details

    Raha-Chowdhury R, Moore CA, Bradley D, Henley R, Worwood M (1996), “Blood ferritin concentrations in newborn infants and the sudden infant death syndrome.” J Clin Pathol 49(2):168-70 Details


    Raha-Chowdhury R, Bowen DJ, Burnett AK, Worwood M (1995), “Allelic associations and homozygosity at loci from HLA-B to D6S299 in genetic haemochromatosis.” J Med Genet 32(6):446-52 Details

    Raha-Chowdhury R, Bowen DJ, Stone C, Pointon JJ, Terwilliger JD, Shearman JD, Robson KJ, Bomford A, Worwood M (1995), “New polymorphic microsatellite markers place the haemochromatosis gene telomeric to D6S105.” Hum Mol Genet 4(10):1869-74 Details

    Worwood M, Raha-Chowdhury R, Fagan DG, Moore CA (1995), “Postmortem blood ferritin concentrations in sudden infant death syndrome.” J Clin Pathol 48(8):763-7 Details


    Moore CA, Raha-Chowdhury R, Fagan DG, Worwood M (1994), “Liver iron concentrations in sudden infant death syndrome.” Arch Dis Child 70(4):295-8 Details

    Raha-Chowdhury R, Tigue NJ, Worwood M (1994), “Trinucleotide repeat microsatellite in the 5' untranslated region of HLA-F.” Hum Mol Genet 3(11):2084 Details

    Worwood M, Dorak MT, Raha-Chowdhury R (1994), “Haplotypes in linkage disequilibrium with the hemochromatosis gene.” Am J Hum Genet 55(3):585-6 Details

    Worwood M, Dorak MT, Raha-Chowdhury R, Darke C (1994), “Genetics of haemochromatosis.” Adv Exp Med Biol 356:309-18 Details

    Worwood M, Raha-Chowdhury R, Darke C (1994), “Distribution of alleles at D6S105 and D6S265 with possible HLA haplotype associations.” Tissue Antigens 44(5):322-5 Details

    Worwood M, Raha-Chowdhury R, Dorak MT, Darke C, Bowen DJ, Burnett AK (1994), “Alleles at D6S265 and D6S105 define a haemochromatosis-specific genotype.” Br J Haematol 86(4):863-6 Details


    Raha-Chowdhury R, Williams BJ, Worwood M (1993), “Red cell destruction by human monocytes--changes in intracellular ferritin concentration and phenotype.” Eur J Haematol 50(1):26-31 Details