Mr. Adham Farah

Postgraduate Student

Address:

Mailbox 6, Level 6
Ninewells Hospital & Medical School
Dundee
DD1 9SY

Phone Number:

+(44) 01382 383612

Email Address:

a.h.farah@dundee.ac.uk

Biography

Adham graduated from the American University of Beirut with a BSc degree in Medical Laboratory Sciences. Adham has started his PhD degree in 2016 in the University of Dundee, working in Dr. Jenni Harvey’s lab. His project investigates the effects of cannabinoids on synaptic transmission at hippocampal synapses, and the interactions between the estrogen and endocannabinoid systems in the hippocampus, as a possible novel target for Alzheimer’s disease and neurodegeneration. 

Research

PhD title: Regulation of hippocampal synaptic transmission by cannabinoids, and the interactions between the estrogen and endocannabinoid systems in the hippocampus.

The endogenous cannabinoid system, composed of neuromodulatory endogenous lipid ligands and their cannabinoid receptors, has crucial physiological and regulatory roles throughout the body. It is known that cannabinoids produce their biological effects via activation of CB1 and CB2 receptor subtypes, however in the CNS, the predominant cannabinoid receptor is CB1. Numerous studies have examined the modulatory effects of cannabinoids on excitatory synaptic transmission at hippocampal schaffer collateral (SC)-CA1 synapses. Indeed, evidence suggests that hippocampal cannabinoid receptors not only play a role in learning and memory formation, but they are also linked to neurodegeneration in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). However the effects of cannabinoids on excitatory synaptic function at the anatomically-distinct temporoammonic (TA) input to CA1 neurons is not clear. In addition, recent data suggests that there may be important interactions between estrogen signalling and the endocannabinoid neuromodulatory system. However, our knowledge of how estrogen influences brain function is limited.

This study aims to reveal the role of cannabinoid receptor activation and how it modulates excitatory synaptic transmission at hippocampal TA-CA1 synapses. These findings may be important as the TA pathway plays a role in episodic memory and impairments in episodic memory is an early event in AD. The study also aims to examine the effects of different estrogen sensitive receptors on endocannabinoid function and the cellular events that underlie learning and memory. The effectiveness of estrogen receptors and cannabinoids in alleviating the detrimental brain changes that occur in AD will also be explored. This study may ultimately identify novel therapeutic targets for more effective clinical management of cognitive deficits and AD. 

Conferences

04/2017: British Neuroscience Association (BNA), Birmingham

Poster; ‘Cannabinoid regulation of excitatory synaptic transmission at hippocampal TA-CA1 synapses.’

- 03/2017: Alzheimer’s Research UK (ARUK), Aberdeen

Poster; ‘Cannabinoid regulation of excitatory synaptic transmission at hippocampal TA-CA1 synapses.’