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Dr Cathy Slack

Principal Investigator


I graduated from Imperial College in 2002 with a PhD in Genetics and completed my postdoctoral training with Prof. William Chia (MRC Centre for Developmental Neurobiology, Kings College London) and Dame Prof. Linda Partridge (Institute of Healthy Ageing, University College London).


In August 2016, I joined the School of Life & Health Sciences at Aston University as a Group Leader and Lecturer in Biosciences.


My scientific background covers ageing biology, cell signalling and Drosophila genetics. 

Abigail Otchere

PhD Student


I completed my BSc in Biomedical Science at Roehampton University (2010) and obtained an MSc in Neuroscience from Kings College London. After two years working in the clinical trials sector, namely on asthma and HIV research, I started my PhD in 2017 which focuses on signalling via metabotropic glutamate receptors and their role in longevity and age-related health using Drosophila as a model. My research interests include cell signalling, neurodegeneration, ageing and age-related health. 

Lauren Mcdonagh

PhD Student


I joined the lab in October 2018 as a PhD student having previously graduated from Aston University with an MSc in Biomedical Sciences (Distinction). My recent research projects have centred around the role of the FoxO transcription factor in metabolic regulation in Drosophila, incorporating biochemistry, molecular biology, and genetics.

Dr Cui Guan

Postdoctoral Researcher


I graduated from Queen Mary University of London in 2019 with a PhD in Neuroscience with Prof. Lars and Dr. Alexandra Chittka. I investigated the role of protein arginine methylation in bumblebee brain development and learning. My research to date has involved developmental biology, behavioural biology, learning and memory and the molecular basis of these aspects. In January 2020, I started my postdoctoral training with Dr. Cathy Slack (School of Life & Health Sciences at Aston University). I’m interested in using genetics and other molecular techniques to understand ageing.

Mihails Laskovs

MIBTP PhD Student


I studied Bsc Molecular Biology at University College London which I finished in 2019. After which, I worked as a Research Assistant at the Institute of Healthy Ageing (University College London) in Dr John Labbadia's Lab where I used the nematode worm, Caenorhabditis elegans, and tissue culture to understand how signals that promote growth and development early in life, influence proteostasis across tissues. 

I started my PhD in 2020, and will focus on deciphering the metabolic effects of Ras inhibition during ageing in fruit flies. 

Lab Alumni

Adrian Purcariu

Emma Morris

BSc Biology Placement Student (2018-2019)

BSc Biomedical Sciences Placement Student (2016-2017)

Jake Moorse

PhD Student

JM Photo.JPG

I graduated in 2017 from the University of South Wales with a BSc in Biology where I investigated how Dugesia lugubris large tissue regeneration was affected by electrical fields.


I then joined the Slack lab between 2017-2018 as a research technician and investigated using Drosophila as a TB drug discovery model. I then spent a year working as a research technician in Carolina Rezavals lab at the University of Birmingham studying decision making in Drosophila.


I returned to the Slack lab to start my PhD in October 2020, where my research project focuses on using Drosophila as a model to identify novel geroprotectors and promote healthy ageing. 

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