I received my B.S. in Biology (2013) and Ph.D. in Biochemistry (2019) both from the University of Kentucky (USA). I did my dissertation work in the lab of Dr. Matthew Gentry studying the mechanisms of Lafora disease (LD), a childhood-onset, fatal epilepsy and glycogen storage disease. I defined the effects of LD-associated patient mutations on protein function using biochemical tools to establish a personalized diagnostic approach for LD. I also studied the structure of the toxic inclusions in LD [1] and worked on an LD therapy in collaboration with Valerion Therapeutics. We showed that an antibody-enzyme fusion drug degraded the inclusions and rescued metabolic alterations in LD mouse models [2].

1. Brewer, M. K. et al. Polyglucosan body structure in Lafora disease. Carbohydrate Polymers 240, 116260 (2020).
2. Brewer, M. K. et al. Targeting Pathogenic Lafora Bodies in Lafora Disease Using an Antibody-Enzyme Fusion. Cell Metabolism 30, 689-705.e6 (2019).


The roles of astrocytic and neuronal glycogen in brain function and neurological disease

The aims of this project are to define the distribution of glycogen synthase expression in neurons and its role in synaptic activation; to understand the role of astrocytic glycogen in cerebral metabolism and exercise tolerance; and to determine the role of glycogen accumulation in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

BIST centres

Institutional Members of the Board of Trustees