Dr Kirsty Greenwood gained a BSc in Psychology from the University of Florida in 1992 and an MSc in Neuroscience from the Institute of Psychiatry in Denmark Hill, London. From 1996 to 1998 she worked at the Hammersmith campus of Imperial College, where she learnt histology and immunohistochemistry on a model of birth asphyxia, studying the protective effects of mild hypothermia, working with a consultant paediatrician, Professor David Edwards, a scientist, Dr Huseyin Mehmet and a group of clinicians and scientists.
Dr Greenwood’s PhD also used mainly histological techniques to study NG2 glia, purported to be oligodendrocyte progenitor cells, with Professor Arthur Butt. Multiple Sclerosis patients lose oligodendrocytes, the glial cells that myelinate axons in the CNS, and it was hoped that NG2 labelled glia may be able to provide a pool of new oligodendrocytes by studying their biology in normal rat brain. However, they found that by following axonal loss NG2+ glia they became reactive, in a similar way to astrocytes.
Dr Greenwood gained her PhD in 2002 and was already half way through a one year post-doc working for Dr Susan Duty looking at tritiated aspartate release following metabotropic glutamate receptor activation. She then returned to mainly histological techniques with Professor Arthur Butt studying the Inwardly Rectifying Potassium channel, Kir4.1, expressed by glial cells in the CNS and essential. The Kir4.1 knockout mouse lives only 2 weeks, before the deletion proves lethal, and looked at other KIr channels to discover if they were affected by absence of Kir4.1 using RT-PCR and other molecular techniques.
Dr Greenwood has recently joined the team at the Portsmouth Brain Tumour Research Centre in the capacity of Centre Histologist .