The role of neuroinflammation in parkinson'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
Dr Juliet Taylor Personal web page
Co-supervisor Email Number Webpage
Prof Peter Crack

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

Parkinson's disease (PD) is a progressive neurological disease that is characterized by the loss of dopaminergic neurons, primarily in the substantia nigra. The loss of these neurons leads to a motor handicap, associated depression, pain and general decreased quality of life. The mechanism for the loss of the dopaminergeric neurons is unknown although it is hypothesised that protein mis-folding, oxidative stress and neuro-inflammation may contribute to the cell death. We hypothesise that the neuroinflammatory response triggers deleterious events (eg, oxidative stress and cytokine-receptor-mediated apoptosis), potentiating dopaminergic cell death and contributing to disease progression. This project proposes to study the molecular and cellular events associated with neuro-inflammation in an animal model of PD with a focus on the involvement of neuro-inflammation in the progression of PD. There is a growing body evidence that the gut plays a role in PD.  This project will investigate this hypothesis using a combination of gut organoids and gut motility assays. A multi-disciplinary approach using an alpha-synuclein in vivo mouse model of PD coupled with in vitro studies to investigate the specific molecular pathways involved will investigate the role that neuro-inflammation plays in the progression of PD.
Skill acquisition: The techniques involved in this project entail a mouse model of PD, immunohistochemistry, primary neural cell culture, ELISA, QPCR analysis, siRNA and western analysis and data analysis.

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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