AMRC Open Research

AMRC Open Research: A Researcher’s Perspective

Kelly Hares is a post-doc working for the University of Bristol at the MS and Stem Cell Group within Translational Health Sciences and the Institute of Clinical Neuroscience. Her research on KIFs in this particular study was funded by the charity: BRACE.

Can you tell us about your research?

My current research interests are exploring the contribution of kinesin superfamily motor proteins (KIFs) to axonal pathology (via impaired axonal transport), in diseases such as multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease.

I think open research is really important to avoid needless replication of experiments and to better inform and plan future experiments.

KIFs are responsible for the majority of anterograde protein transport within the axon, shuttling proteins that are imperative for neuronal connectivity and function, from the cell body to the synapse. It is believed that targeting early axonal transport abnormalities may be a therapeutic target to prevent or slow progressive disability across a spectrum of neurodegenerative diseases, which show (pathologically) abnormal protein accumulation within the brain. I am also interested in potential genetic influences (gene polymorphisms) on KIF expression in patients and whether this has a role in disease severity or progression.

Why did you choose to publish on AMRC Open Research and what does open research mean to you?

I think open research is really important to avoid needless replication of experiments and to better inform and plan future experiments. The emphasis in research should not just be on publishing ‘positive’ data but also, the experiments that haven’t gone as planned. With research funding becoming ever more competitive and difficult to obtain it is important money is invested in well-planned projects.  If research becomes more open and transparent it will give researchers the tools they need to plan and execute successful experiments, which will lead to more robust, reproducible data. This is especially important in translational science to better inform future clinical trials.

Research published on the platform is accessible to everyone – what is your opinion on this?

From a clinical research perspective, I think this is great. If it has the capacity to engage a wider audience, including patients and friends/family, it can provide a platform for connecting with active research through the exchange of questions and opinions, which could help shape future research plans.

The emphasis in research should not just be on publishing ‘positive’ data but also, the experiments that haven’t gone as planned.

What has been your experience of publishing on the platform?

I’ve had a good experience publishing on the platform. Uploading the manuscript and figures was straight forward with transparent guidelines and the turnaround time and correspondence from the editorial team was fast and efficient. I would use the platform again but with forward planning so that the raw data I was acquiring in present experiments were in a format for everyone to interpret.

To view Kelly’s research or any of the articles published on AMRC Open Research, just click here.


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