Dr Emyr Lloyd-Evans has been involved in researching NPC for many years, working initially with Professor Tony Futerman at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. It was here he gained an interest in lysosomal storage diseases. From 2002 he worked with Professor Fran Platt at Oxford University concentrating on the role of simple sphingolipid sphingosine in the pathogenesis of NPC and identified Curcumin as a potential therapy for NPC. He was also involved in helping to bring Zavesca (aka Miglustat) to trial for NPC. He left Oxford in 2010, to set up his own laboratory in Cardiff and has continued to research the lysosomal function, particularly in NPC. The NPRF has awarded Emyr’s lab three grants to date and is currently considering a fourth application.
Emyr received his first grant from the NPRF in January 2012 for c. £20,000 to test the effect that lysosomal zinc storage has on the function and survival of NPC cells and the role that the alteration in zinc metabolism had on the mechanisms of current NPC disease therapies.
The second grant was awarded in 2013 for c. £55,000 covering a 3 year period. The grant funded the creation of an NPC zebrafish model to enable further study of disease pathogenesis and allow for speedier and more extensive testing of potential interventions. They have also developed behavioural tests and innovative recording platforms for phenotyping the fish.
The final award was a small grant to test various forms of curcumin on cell models of NPC.
Several papers are in various stages of preparation, including some going through peer review prior to publication.