Innate immunity, neuroinflammation and chronic neurodegeneration – a focus on alzheimer's 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 Peter Crack Personal web page
Co-supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr Juliet Taylor

Summary The Crack and Taylor group is run by Professor Peter Crack and Dr Juliet Taylor. The Neuropharmacology laboratory looks to understand how fundamental cellular signalling pathways can predispose the brain to exacerbated neurotrauma or neuropathology. In understanding how these pathways contribute to neural dysfunction we may be able to identify novel therapeutics that can be used to combat traumatic brain injury, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.

Project Details

A major new area of research in our laboratory is the role that the innate immune system plays in the progression of chronic neuronal pathology. It is now appreciated that the central nervous system (CNS) does exhibit features of inflammation, and in response to injury, infection or disease, resident CNS cells generate inflammatory mediators, including proinflammatory cytokines, prostaglandins, free radicals and complement, which in turn induce chemokines and adhesion molecules, recruit immune cells, and activate glial cells. Activation of the innate immune system is an important component of this inflammatory response. We have discovered that neuroinflammation is mediated by the generation of type-I interferons.  Type-I interferons are the master regulators of the neuroinflammatory response seen in Alzheimer's disease.  The molecular mechanisms that are influenced by the type-I interferon signalling comprises new targets for therapeutic intervention into acute neurological conditions such as stroke and neurotrauma and chronic neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's disease.
Skill acquisition: In vivo disease models, histology, immunohistochemistry, morphometry, quantitative PCR, FACS analysis of cell populations, cell and tissue culture, ELISA, molecular biology and western blotting.

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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