Ultrasonically driven neuromodulation using mechano-responsive proteins

Department / Centre
Biochemistry and Pharmacology
Bio21 Molecular Science and Biotechnology Institute
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr Daniel Scott daniel.scott@florey.edu.au

Summary The Scott group interrogates the molecular mechanisms underlying cellular signalling and exploits these details to develop new tools for drug discovery. A key focus is on G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), the largest, yet potentially most underexploited class of drug targets. Our projects combine a wide range of methods such as: protein engineering, directed evolution, cell-based binding and signalling assays, lentivirus, X-ray crystallography, NMR, fluorescence microscopy, electron microscopy, computational modelling, and rational drug design.

Project Details

The spatiotemporal nuances that underly neuronal signalling are vital for normal nervous system function but are mostly not understood. In recent years optogenetics has revolutionised the study of neuronal networks by allowing precise, optical activation or inhibition of specific neurons in living, free moving animals. To do this however, fibre optics and/or lasers must be surgically implanted into animals, which is challenging and may interfere with behaviour. This project aims to investigate targeted acoustic mechanical stimulation from micro-engineered systems on neurons and neuronal tissue. Importantly, this also seeks to improve understanding of the parameters required to activate native and transfected mechano-responsive proteins, including Piezo1/Piezo2. The development of this understanding will lead to new, potentially less invasive methodologies for neural interaction studies and potentially future treatment modalities. This interdisciplinary project lies at the intersection of multiple fields and will utilize techniques in biomedical engineering, protein engineering, microfluidics, microsystems engineering, 3D printing, cell signalling and neurobiology.

School Research Themes

Cell Signalling

Key Contact

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

Department / Centre

Biochemistry and Pharmacology

Research Node

Bio21 Molecular Science and Biotechnology Institute

MDHS Research library
Explore by researcher, school, project or topic.