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Yizhou is currently a PhD student in Dr L. Miguel Martins' research group. He previously graduated from Imperial College London in 2019 with a BSc in Biological Sciences (first-class honours). During his first degree, he completed internships with Dr Giorgio Gilestro to investigate sleep in flies as well as with Prof Masud Husain and Dr Michele Veldsman to investigate associations between poor sleep and neuroimaging markers.



Research Interests:

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common age-related neurodegenerative disorder. Familial forms of Alzheimer’s disease associated with the accumulation of a toxic form of amyloid-β peptides are linked to mitochondrial impairment. 

Yizhou's research focuses on potential therapeutic targets for Alzheimer's disease using cell and fly models in combination with human genetic, biochemical, behavioural and brain imaging data. He recently used experimental results in flies to human medical records and showed that increasing the bioavailability of the coenzyme nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide to promote mitochondrial health could reduce pathologies related Alzheimer's disease (published in Cell Death & Disease, Yu et al., 2021). He is now pursuing further research on the toxic effect of amyloid-β and how to reduce its toxicity.

Yizhou is also involve in a few collaborative works. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, he recently completed 2 research projects on how air pollution and neurodegenerative diseases could affect COVID-19 infection and death. He is also involved in a project on using machine learning to investigate the off-target effect of drugs on mitochondria. 



Key publications: 
  1. Yu Y, Fedele G, Celardo I, Loh SH and Martins LM. Parp mutations protect from mitochondrial toxicity in Alzheimer’s disease. Cell Death & Disease, 12(7), pp.1-10. (2021)
  2. Travaglio M, Yu Y, Popovic R, Selley L, Leal NS and Martins LM. Links between air pollution and COVID-19 in England. Environmental Pollution, 268, p.115859. (2021; co-first author)
  3. Yu Y, Travaglio M, Popovic R, Leal NS and Martins LM. Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases predict different COVID-19 outcomes: A UK biobank study. Geriatrics, 6(1), p.10. (2021)


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Research Assistant

Contact Details

MRC Toxicology Unit
Gleeson Building
Tennis Court Road


Telephone and Email


Person keywords: 
PhD Student  (VC - University of Cambridge, Self)