Project: The effect of microplastics on health
The incidence of Parkinson's disease (PD) has doubled in the last 20 years and is predicted to double again in the next 20. Critically, the increased incidence of PD cannot be explained by population growth, ageing or genetics but is associated with environmental exposure. One consequence of an increasingly industrialised world is greater exposure to microplastics that cause significant biological stress. Etiological evidence has implicated such stress as a key factor in the pathogenesis of PD and that disease might originate in peripheral organs such as the gastrointestinal tract. However, the biological mechanisms by which these stressors contribute to increased risk of PD is poorly understood. The aim of this project is to investiagte the interaction between environmental stressors and PD-related pathways within the gatrointestinal tract and the brain.
The focus of the Lawson lab is disease affecting the brian and gut. Our research focus is on neurological disease, infectious disease and cancers.