Dr. Gemma Lace

School of Science, Engineering and Environment

Photo of Dr. Gemma Lace

Contact Details

Peel G07b

Please email for an appointment.




Current positions

Interim Associate Dean Academic (Student Experience)


I was recently appointed as the Associate Dean Academic Student Experience for the School
Of Science, Engineering & Environment at the University of Salford. I am passionate about promoting student success and creating a supportive, collaborative and inclusive academic environment. My ethos is ‘we rise by lifting others’ and I have a track record of driving positive cultural change within the HE sector.

I joined the University of Salford in 2011 as a Biomedicine Teaching Fellow and was promoted to Lecturer in 2013, then Senior Lecturer in 2018. I have been head of Biomedicine Outreach, Postgraduate Tutor and Lead of Knowledge Translation and Public Engagement at the Salford Institute for Dementia.

I completed a BSc (Hons) Neuroscience at the University of Leeds before obtaining a PhD in Genomic Medicine at the University of Sheffield where I investigated Tau protein pathogenesis in ageing and dementia. I remained at the University of Sheffield and was awarded a Sir John Stokes Research Fellowship and continued my ageing and dementia research before moving on to investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease.

I currently lead the molecular biology dementia research group in the Biomedical Research Centre. My research interests are generally focused on understanding the underlying mechanisms associated with abnormal protein accumulation and cell death in neurodegenerative disease. Current projects include investigating how brain waste disposal system deficits may contribute to diseases such as Alzheimer's disease and frontotemporal dementia and exploring the role of extracellular vesicles in the 'spread' of toxicity in brain diseases. We also have a number of projects aiming to further understand the link between obesity and dementia risk. The work in my group uses cellular based disease models and human brain tissue to explore the mechanisms of neurodegenerative disease.

Additionally, I am a pedagogical researcher interested in kineasthetic playful learning approaches, collaborative learning practice and technology enhanced learning. I have published work in this area and would be keen to set up cross institutional pedagogical research projects.

Areas of research

Dementia, Neuroscience, Proteomics, Neuropathology, Obesity, Communication

Areas of supervision

Ageing and Dementia Research, Science Communication, Pegagogy


I teach on a number of Biomedicine programmes at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, specifically in the area of neuroscience, human physiology, histology, pathology, genetics and anatomy.

I am a pedagogical researcher interested in inclusive teaching, playful learning methods and technology enhanced learning

Research Interests

My research involves investigating how brain waste disposal system deficits may contribute to the accumulation of abnormal protein in a number of neurodegenerative disorders including as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson’s disease and frontotemporal dementia.

I am also interested in the role of glial cells in ageing and dementia and the underlying molecular disturbances that underlie the link between obesity and increased dementia risk.

Qualifications and Memberships


  • BSc (Hons) Neuroscience (University of Leeds)
  • PhD Genomic Medicine (University of Leeds)
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (University of Salford)


  • Fellow of the Institute of Higher Education
  • Member of the Salford Institute for Dementia
  • Member of the British Neuropathological Society
  • Member of the Alzheimer’s Research UK North West Network
  • Member of the Sheffield Brain Bank Tissue Approval Committee
  • Member of the UK Extracellular Vesicle Society
  • Member of the Physiological Society