Uncovering the role of extracellular vesicles in Frontotemporal Dementia

Research Opportunity
PhD, Masters by Research, Honours, Master of Biomedical Science
Number of Honour Places Available
Medicine and Radiology
Florey Institute of Neuroscience & Mental Health
Group Leader Email Number Webpage
Dr Laura Vella ljvella@unimelb.edu.au Personal web page

Project Details

Frontotemporal dementia (FTLD) refers to a group of disorders caused by progressive nerve cell loss in the brain's frontal lobes. The lack of disease-modifying treatments exacerbate the significant financial and emotional tolls that FTD places on families and communities at large. A new approach to the study of FTD is long overdue. In recent years, small extracellular vesicles released by the cell, called exosomes, have emerged as key players in neurodegenerative disease. Exosomes are important for two principal reasons, they contain a selection of proteins, RNA and lipids, which act as key players in cell-to-cell communication, and can be characterised to provide a snapshot of the parental cell and disease mechanisms.  The proposed project will tap into the wealth of molecular information contained within exosomes in the brain by isolating and characterising exosomes from human neurological control and FTLD brain. The aims are to determine if the protein tau traffics around the brain via exosomes. The student will learn techniques including cell culture, flow cytometry, exosome isolation, western blotting, and density gradients. This will be a collaborative research project with The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health and The Department of Medicine, The University for Melbourne.

Faculty Research Themes


School Research Themes

Neuroscience & Psychiatry

Research Opportunities

PhD, Masters by Research, 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.


Medicine and Radiology

Research Node

Florey Institute of Neuroscience & Mental Health

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