A new approach to Alzheimer’s disease with Neuro-Bio

Posted on: 12 December 2023 by Louise Colley in December 2023 posts

Adam Khan
Adam Khan

Adam Khan is a third year Pharmacology student in the School of Life Sciences. Here he tells us about his experiences on an industrial placement with Neuro-Bio, a biotechnology company, and the valuable insights he gained.


Alzheimer's Disease (AD), the most common form of dementia typically presenting in elderly people, is a progressive disease of the brain. Symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease include loss of memory and destruction of neurons in the brain. The prevalence of AD is growing at an alarming rate and despite this, a clear mechanism of pathology has not yet been determined. I spent my summer working at Neuro-Bio, a company with a novel, therapeutic approach to AD.

My research

The focus of my project was to measure levels of both T14 and pTau in rodents of different ages: 7, 14, 21 and 60 days old.  T14 and pTau are signalling molecules that are heavily implicated and present at high concentrations in the AD brain. They also both have important physiological roles in development; T14 is known to drive cell growth and renewal, while Tau is involved in modulating microtubule stability as a cell divides. Their implication in AD could therefore suggest that AD pathogenesis is the consequence of inappropriate recapitulation of developmental processes.

The aim of my project was to see if concentrations of T14 and pTau are high in the developing rodent brain. If this is the case, then elements of T14 and pTau signalling could represent novel drug targets for AD treatment.

Learning new techniques

First, I learnt to quantify the concentration of total proteins in my sample using a common Pierce™ BCA Protein Assay Kit. This was followed by Western blotting, a technique that uses specific antibodies to identify proteins that have been separated based on size by gel electrophoresis. In addition, I learnt how to use ELISA assays which are another set of molecular biology methods for detecting and quantifying a specific protein in a complex mixture. I invested significant time troubleshooting and validating different reagents for my experiments, which provided me with a genuine appreciation for the life of a research scientist.

Outside the lab

My time at Neuro-Bio was very special and I have forged lasting connections with many work colleagues whom I still keep in touch with. It was eye-opening to learn about the diverse journeys that other scientists made to reach their current positions. Additionally, I was fortunate to attend discussions with industry professionals who work outside of the lab. These interactions provided valuable insights into various aspects of a drug discovery company, including business planning, investment, and collaboration with other institutions.

Future plans

I left Neuro-Bio with a real drive to enter the drug discovery and development world. Having experienced the inner workings of a drug discovery company firsthand, I gained a deep appreciation for how important advances in this industry are. The output of novel medicines that are safe and efficacious is a challenge in the world and one that will only be overcome as advances are made.

Over time, these advances will translate into improved clinical outcomes and have a real-world benefit with the potential to affect the lives of everyone. I hope to continue my studies and develop a further understanding of pharmacological principles and their application to drug development. This preparation is key to my goal of contributing to the industry, playing a role in the creation of new and improved medicines.



Our undergraduate curriculum is designed to equip students with a modern, relevant, and research-led teaching programme, preparing graduates with the skills and experience necessary to contribute to real-world projects in the field of Pharmacology. Industrial placements are aimed at developing a breadth of practical experience to complement the student’s degree programme and enhance their prospects of employability.