CaMKK2 control of neuronal function and complex behaviour in health and disease

Research Opportunity
PhD students, Honours students, Master of Biomedical Science
Number of Honour Places Available
Number of Master Places Available
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Prof Andrew Gundlach Personal web page
Co-supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr John Scott

Summary My laboratory seeks to increase our understanding of the neurobiology of neuropeptide/G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) systems in health and disease, with the goal of identifying the physiological role of key neural networks in the brain, and developing novel therapeutics for neuropsychiatric disorders. A primary focus of current projects involving several international collaborations is the relaxin-3/RXFP3 system, and the inhibitory (GABA) projection- and inter-neurons that express the peptide and its receptor. New initiatives are targeting the unexplored relaxin/RXFP1 system in brain and its possible roles in neurovascular coupling and sensory/cognitive processing; and the role of the signalling enzyme, CaMKK2 in regulation of brain and behaviour. Projects on these topics will provide training in techniques such as neurochemical phenotyping of target neurons, cell signalling, neuropharmacology, physiology and behaviour.

Project Details

Our research has revealed that Ca2+-calmodulin dependent protein kinase kinase-2 (CaMKK2) is a key regulator of neuronal function and associated complex behaviour. Mutations that reduce CaMKK2 expression or activity display a strong association with a spectrum of human psychiatric disorders, including anxiety, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, indicating that optimal CaMKK2 activity is essential for normal, healthy brain development and function. Notably, the mood-stabilising drug, lithium, a major therapy for multiple psychiatric illnesses, activates CaMKK2. Therefore, understanding central CaMKK2 signalling is of significant translational interest.

Research Opportunities

PhD students, Honours students, Master of Biomedical Science
Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research

Graduate Research application

Honours application

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.

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