Oz in the Lab


Oz's fascination with biology has taken him across many different disciplines during his research career.

Oz is doing his PhD at the UCL Centre for Advanced Biomedical Imaging. He is studying the newly discovered glymphatic pathway in the brain, which is one of many clearance systems that helps the brain get rid of waste products. He recently completed a research placement at Oregon Health and Science University, working with the scientists who first discovered this brain pathway. 

Oz is specifically studying this system's role in Alzheimer's disease, which has two hallmark waste proteins - amyloid beta and tau. Using magnetic resonance imaging and histological methods, Oz aims to identify the link between the accumulation of these proteins and their clearance from the brain to understand if glymphatic impairment has a role in Alzheimer's disease. Oz has also worked on developing imaging biomarkers for Alzheimer's disease in collaboration with Eli Lilly & Company.  

Prior to this, Oz worked at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Cambridge within the Mouse Genetics Programme - a large scale phenotyping project that aimed to characterise and phenotype the entire mouse genome in order to understand the genetic basis of human development and disease. Oz's role in this project was to develop and refine X-ray imaging and body composition analysis techniques for metabolic phenotyping.

Oz studied physiology at the University of Hertfordshire. In his final year research project, he investigated the use of statins for improving cardiovascular tone. During this degree, he also did a research placement at Brunel University in West London, where he studied DNA methylation patterns and mismatch repair mechanisms in genes that cause Friedreich ataxia.

It was in these labs that Oz got his first taste in scientific research and decided that he wanted to become a full time scientist.

Scientific Journal Articles

Non-invasive MRI of brain clearance pathways using multiple echo time arterial spin labelling: An Aquaporin-4 study. Yolanda Ohene, Ian F Harrison, Payam Nahavandi, Ozama Ismail, Eleanor V. Bird, Ole P. Otterson, Erlend A. Nagelhus, David L. Thomas, Mark F. Lythgoe, Jack A. Wells. NeuroImage. 2018 Dec 15; doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2018.12.026

Non-invasive imaging of CSF-mediated brain clearance pathways via assessment of perivascular fluid movement with diffusion tensor MRI. Ian F Harrison, Bernard Siow, Aisha B. Akilo, Phoebe G. Evans, Ozama Ismail, Yolanda Ohene, Payam Nahavandi, David L. Thomas, Mark F. Lythgoe, Jack A. Wells. eLIFE. 2018 Jul 31; e34028 DOI: 10.7554/eLife.34028 .

In vivo imaging of tau pathology using magnetic resonance imaging textural analysis. Niall Colgan, Balaji Ganeshan, Ian F Harrison, Ozama Ismail, Holly E. Holmes, Jack A. Wells, Nicholas M. Powell, James M. O'Callaghan, Michael J. O'Neill, Tracey K. Murray, Zeshan Ahmed, Emily C. Collins, Ross Johnson, Ashley Groves, Mark F. Lythgoe. Frontiers in Neuroscience. 2017 Nov 6;11:599. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2017.00599.

Tissue magnetic susceptibility mapping as a marker of tau pathology in Alzheimer's disease. James M. O'Callaghan, Holly E. Holmes, Nicholas M. Powell, Jack A. Wells, Ozama Ismail, Ian F. Harrison, Bernard Siow, Ross Johnson, Zeshan Ahmed, Alice Fisher, S Meftah, Michael J. O'Neill, Tracey K. Murray, Emily C. Collins, Karin Shmueli, Mark F. Lythgoe. Neuroimage. 2017 Oct 1;159:334-345. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2017.08.003. Epub 2017 Aug 4.


Comparison of in vivo and ex vivo mri for the detection of structural abnormalities in a mouse model of tauopathy. Holly E. Holmes, Nicholas M. Powell, Da Ma, Ozama Ismail, Ian F. Harrison, Jack A. Wells, Niall Colgan, James M. O'Callaghan, Ross A. Johnson, Tracey K. Murray, Zeshan Ahmed, Morten Heggenes, Alice Fisher, M. Jorge Cardoso, Marc Modat, Michael J. O'Neill, Emily C. Collins, Elizabeth M. C. Fisher, Sebastien Ourselin, Mark F. Lythgoe. Frontiers in
 2017 Mar 31;11:20. doi: 10.3389/fninf.2017.00020.


Imaging the accumulation and suppression of tau pathology using multi-parametric MRI. Holly E. Holmes, Niall Colgan, Ozama Ismail, Da Ma, Nicholas M. Powell, James M. O'Callaghan, Ian F. Harrison, Ross A. Johnson, Tracey K. Murray, Zeshan Ahmed, M. Heggenes, Alice Fisher, Jorge M. Cardoso, Marc Modat, Simon Walker-Samuel, Elizabeth M. C. Fisher, Sebastien Ourselin, Michael J. O'Neill, Jack A. Wells, Emily C. Collins, Mark F. Lythgoe. 2015. Neurobiology of Aging. 39:184-194: DOI: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2015.12.001.


Application of neurite orientation dispersion and density imaging (NODDI) to a tau pathology model of Alzheimer's disease. Niall Colgan, Bernard Siow, James M. O'Callaghan, Ian F. Harrison, Jack A. Wells, Holly E. Holmes, Ozama Ismail, Simon Richardson, Daniel C. Alexander, Emily C. Collins, Elizabeth M. C. Fisher, Ross Johnson, Adam J. Schwarz, Zeshan Ahmed, Michael J. O'Neill, Tracey K. Murray, H. Zhang, Mark F. Lythgoe. 2015. Neuroimage, 125:739-744. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2015.10.043.


 In vivo imaging of tau pathology using multi-parametric quantitative MRI. Jack A. Wells, James M. O'Callaghan, Holly E. Holmes, Nicholas M. Powell, Ross A. Johnson, Bernard Siow, Francisco Torrealdea, Ozama Ismail, Simon Walker-Samuel, Xavier Golay, Marilena Rega, Simon Richardson, Marc Modat, Jorge M. Cardoso, Sebastian Ourselin, Adam J. Schwarz, Zeshan Ahmed, Tracey K. Murray, Michael J. O’Neill, Emily C. Collins, Niall Colgan, Mark F. Lythgoe. 2015. Neuroimage. 1 (111): DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2015.02.023.


Increased cerebral vascular reactivity in the tau expressing rTg4510 mouse: evidence against the role of tau pathology to impair vascular health in Alzheimer’s disease. Jack A Wells, Holly E Holmes, James M O'Callaghan, Niall Colgan, Ozama Ismail, Elizabeth MC Fisher, Bernard Siow, Tracey K Murray, Adam J Schwarz, Michael J O'Neill, Emily C Collins and Mark F Lythgoe. 2014. Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism, 35(3):359-62. DOI: 10.1038/jcbfm.2014.224.


Mcph1-Deficient Mice Reveal a Role for MCPH1 in Otitis Media. Jing Chen, Neil Ingham, Simon Clare, Claire Raisen, Valerie E. Vancollie, Ozama Ismail, Rebecca E. McIntyre, Stephen H. Tsang, Vinit B. Mahajan, Gordon Dougan, David J. Adams, Jacqueline K. White, and Karen P. Steel. 2013. PLoS One, 8(3): DOI:  10.1371/journal.pone.0058156.


Omi, a recessive mutation on chromosome 10, is a novel allele of Ostm1. Erika A. Bosman, Jeanne Estabel, Ozama Ismail, Christine Podrini, Jacqui K White and Karen P. Steel. 2013. Mammalian Genome, (1-2): DOI:10.1007/s00335-012-9438-7


Disruption of Mouse Cenpj, a Regulator of Centriole Biogenesis, Phenocopies Seckel Syndrome. Rebecca E. McIntyre, Pavithra Lakshminarasimhan Chavali, Ozama Ismail, Damian M. Carragher, Gabriela Sanchez-Andrade, Josep V. Forment, Beiyuan Fu6, Martin Del Castillo Velasco-Herrera, Andrew Edwards, Louise van der Weyden, Fengtang Yang, Sanger Mouse Genetics Project, Ramiro Ramirez-Solis, Jeanne Estabel, Ferdia A. Gallagher, Darren W. Logan, Mark J. Arends, Stephen H. Tsang, Vinit B. Mahajan, Cheryl L. Scudamore, Jacqueline K. White, Stephen P. Jackson, Fanni Gergely, David J. Adams. 2012. PLOS Genetics, 8 (11): e1003022 DOI: 10.1371.


Generation of the Soto syndrome deletion in mice. Anna M. Migdalska1, Louise van der Weyden, Ozama Ismail, Jacqueline K. White, Gabriela Sánchez-Andrade, James C. Lupski, Darren W. Logan, Mark J. Arends, David J. Adams. 2012. Mammalian Genome, DOI: 10.1007/s00335-012-9416-0.


Experimental and husbandry procedures as potential modifiers of results of phenotyping tests. Anna-Karin Gerdin, Natalia Igosheva, Laura-Anne Roberson, Ozama Ismail, Natasha Karp, Mark Sanderson, Emma Cambridge, Carl Shannon, David Sunter, Ramiro Ramirez-Solis, James Bussell, Jacqueline K. White. 2012. Physiology & Behaviour, 106 (5): 602 – 611.


Modeling a partial monosomy for human chromosome 21q11.2-21.1 reveals haploinsufficient genes regulating diet-induced body fat deposition. - Anna Migdalska, Louise van der Weyden, Ozama Ismail, Jacqui K. White, Sanger Mouse Genetics Project, Alistair G. Rust, Mark J. Arends, David J. Adams. 2012. PLoS One, 7 (1): e29681.


The Friedreich ataxia GAA repeat expansion mutation induces comparable epigenetic changes in human and transgenic mouse brain and heart tissues. Sahar Al-Mahdawi, Ricardo Mouro Pinto, Ozama Ismail, Dhaval Varshney, Stefania Lymperi, Chiranjeevi Sandi, Daniah Trabzuni and  Mark Pook. 2007. Human Molecular Genetics, 17 (5): 735-46.


Corporate author:


Targeting of Slc25a21 Is Associated with Orofacial Defects and Otitis Media Due to Disrupted Expression of a Neighbouring Gene. Simon Maguire, Jeanne Estabel, Neil Ingham, Selina Pearson, Edward Ryder, Damian M. Carragher, Nicolas Walker, Sanger MGP Slc25a21 Project Team, James Bussell, Wai-In Chan, Thomas M. Keane, David J. Adams, Cheryl L. Scudamore, Christopher J. Lelliott, Ramiro Ramírez-Solis, Natasha A. Karp, Karen P. Steel, Jacqueline K. White, and Anna-Karin Gerdin. 2014. PLoS One,18;9(3):e91807. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0091807.


Genome-wide Generation and Systematic Phenotyping of Knockout Mice Reveals New Roles for Many Genes. Jacqueline K. White, Anna-Karin Gerdin, Natasha A. Karp, Ed Ryder, Marija Buljan, James N. Bussell, Jennifer Salisbury, Simon Clare, Neil J. Ingham, Christine Podrini, Richard Houghton, Jeanne Estabel, Joanna R. Bottomley, David G. Melvin, David Sunter, Niels C. Adams, The Sanger Institute Mouse Genetics Project, David Tannahill, Darren W. Logan, Daniel G. MacArthur, Jonathan Flint, Vinit B. Mahajan, Stephen H. Tsang, Ian Smyth, Fiona M. Watt, William C. Skarnes, Gordon Dougan, David J. Adams, Ramiro Ramirez-Solis, Allan Bradley, and Karen P. Steel. 2013. Cell 154(2): 452–464. DOI:  10.1016/j.cell.2013.06.022.


Rapid-throughput skeletal phenotyping of 100 knockout mice identifies 9 new genes that determine bone strength. J. H. Duncan Bassett, Apostolos Gogakos, Jacqueline K. White, Holly Evans, Richard M. Jacques, Anne H. van der Spek, Sanger Mouse Genetics Project, Ramiro Ramirez-Solis, Edward Ryder, David Sunter, Alan Boyde, Michael J. Campbell, Peter I. Croucher, Graham R. Williams. 2012. PLoS Genetics, DOI:  10.1371/journal.pgen.1002858.


The role of sphingosine-1-phosphate transporter Spns2 in immune system function. Anastasia Nijnik, Simon Clare, Christine Hale,  Jing Chen, Claire Raisen, Lynda Mottram,  Mark Lucas, Jeanne Estabel, Edward Ryder, Hibret Adissu, Sanger Mouse Genetics Project, Niels C. Adams, Ramiro Ramirez-Solis,  Jacqueline K. White, Karen P. Steel, Gordon Dougan and Robert E. W. Hancock. 2012. The Journal of Immunology, 189: 102-111.


The critical role of histone H2A-deubiquitinase Mysm1 in hematopoiesis and lymphocyte differentiation. Anastasia Nijnik, Simon Clare, Christine Hale, Claire Raisen, Rebecca E. McIntyre, Kosuke Yusa, Aaron R. Everitt, Lynda Mottram, Christine Podrini, Mark Lucas, Jeanne Estabel, David Goulding, Sanger Institute Microarray Facility, Sanger Mouse Genetics Project, Niels Adams, Ramiro Ramirez-Solis, Jacqui K. White, David J. Adams, Robert E. W. Hancock, and Gordon Dougan. 2011. Blood, 119 (6): 1370 – 1379.


Disruption of mouse Slx4, a regulator of structure-specific nucleases, phenocopies Fanconi anemia. Gerry P Crossan, Louise van der Weyden, Ivan V Rosado, Frederic Langevin, Pierre-Henri L Gaillard, Rebecca E McIntyre, Sanger Mouse Genetics Project, Ferdia Gallagher, Mikko I Kettunen, David Y Lewis, Kevin Brindle, Mark J Arends, David J Adams & Ketan J Patel. 2010. Nature Genetics, 43 (2): 147 – 152.