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Dr Yvonne Couch

Dr Yvonne Couch, Associate Research Fellow in Medical Sciences

Dr Yvonne Couch is a postdoctoral scientist at the Radcliffe Department of Medicine, a stipendiary lecturer at Somerville College and an Associate Research Fellow at St Hilda’s College.

Dr Couch holds a DPhil and an MSc in Pharmacology (Oxon) and a BSc in Neuroscience (University of Manchester). After spending time at the University of Southern Denmark, she returned to Oxford to work in the lab of Prof. Alastair Buchan.

Dr Couch’s primary research field is neuroimmunology, specifically how the brain communicates injury or illness to the systemic immune system, or vice-versa. Dr Couch is currently studying how injury signals might escape the brain after a stroke, with a particular focus on extracellular vesicles (EVs). EVs are small fragments of cell membrane, shed from cells all the time, and thought to be a novel mechanism of cell to cell communication. Dr Couch’s aim is to study whether these EVs contribute to inflammation within the central nervous system (CNS) after a stroke, specifically whether they activate the vasculature within the brain and elsewhere in the body.

Dr Couch’s work has been funded by a number of internal grants as PI, including a John Fell and two MSIF grants as well as a Rosetrees Trust grant. She has also been co-applicant on larger collaborative grants with Dr Maike Glitsch, from the Wellcome/ISSF. In 2020 Dr Couch was awarded an Alzheimer’s Research UK fellowship to undertake work on the role of extracellular vesicles in mediating post-stroke vascular changes which might contribute to vascular dementia.

In addition to her own work, Dr Couch collaborates widely at Oxford. Ongoing projects include imaging metabolism in stroke with Prof. Damian Tyler and imaging neuronal changes in the brain after stroke with Dr Kamila Szulc-Lerch.