Modulation of toxic alpha synuclein in vivo

Research Opportunity
Honours, Master of Biomedical Science
Number of Honour Places Available
1
Number of Master Places Available
1
Department
Paediatrics
Location
Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Associate Professor Paul Lockhart paul.lockhart@mcri.edu.au 83416322 Personal web page
Co-supervisor Email Number Webpage
Doctor Sarah Stephenson sarah.stephenson@mcri.edu.au 99366563
Yujng Gao yujing.gao@mcri.edu.au 99366563

Summary We are interested in understanding the mechanisms by which disease associated genes modulate alpha-synuclein within the brain. We hypothesise that genes that cause Parkinson's disease by loss of functional protein play a key role in eliminating toxic proteins such as alpha-synuclein from within the brain.

Project Details

Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder with a complex aetiology and progression. Mutations in the parkin gene are the most common cause of early onset-PD. Pathologically PD is characterised by loss of dopamine producing neurons and Lewy bodies composed of aggregated of alpha-synuclein. This has led to the hypothesis that reducing alpha-synuclein burden within cells may slow or halt disease progression.   We have generated several novel Parkinson's disease mouse strains within our laboratory including knockout of causative disease genes parkin (with and without parkin's coregulated partner PACRG) and Rab39b. We are interested in understanding the mechanisms by which disease associated genes modulate alpha-synuclein within the brain. We hypothesise that genes that cause Parkinson's disease by loss of functional protein play a key role in eliminating toxic proteins such as alpha-synuclein from within the brain. Failure of their function results in the accumulation of toxic proteins and results in the development of PD.   We have recently aged a number of unique cohorts that are dysregulated for multiple combinations of parkin/PACRG/Rab39B/alpha-synuclein in the laboratory. These will be characterised for markers of altered neuropathology, biochemistry and correlated with behaviour data already obtained.



Faculty Research Themes

Child Health

School Research Themes

Child Health in Medicine



Research Opportunities

Honours, 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.

Department

Paediatrics

Research Node

Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute

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