I am interested in the mechanisms behind ageing and how the brain changes during both normal ageing and in disease. In diseases like Parkinson's disease specific brain cell populations are affected. A lot of work has been done on why specific populations might be vulnerable in disease but not a lot of work has been done on why neighbouring populations are resistant. One such factor of resistance is the perineuronal net, a specialised sugar coat that enwraps some brain cells. I investigate how and why this coat can protect brain cells. I also investigate how the extracellular matrix, the environment and scaffold in which cells live in might affect their vulnerability.