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Parkinson’s research accelerates thanks to Argyrou family grant

Dr Dominic Hare and his world class team from the worlds of chemistry, physics, neuroscience and pathology, have won the 2018 Argyrou Family Fellowship

Dominic has dedicated most of his professional career to understanding the fundamental biochemistry of metals in the brain and how they are disturbed in neurodegenerative disorders, particularly Parkinson’s disease. He believes the decline of the ageing brain is preceded by subtle changes in cell biochemistry, and that determining the nature of these aberrant chemical reactions is key to intervening and slowing, or even preventing disease progression. Through work supported by the NHMRC, ARC and Parkinson’s New South Wales (in collaboration with Assocaite Professor Prof Double), he has contributed to major breakthroughs in Parkinson’s disease research, including the proposed biochemical pathway of iron and dopamine metabolism that may represent the chemical ‘initiator’ of parkinsonian neurodegeneration.

Metals are essential to normal neurological function. Disturbed metal metabolism is common to nearly all neurodegenerative movement disorders, including Parkinson’s disease and motor neurone disease. A failure of metal regulatory pathways represents an early biochemical change in vulnerable brain regions, and is a promising avenue for the development of new therapies.

Dominic, an NHMRC Career Development Fellow, heads the Atomic Pathology laboratory at the Florey. He has published nearly 100 peer-reviewed papers since 2009 and is widely recognised as a world-leader in metals and neurodegenerative diseases. He is passionate about direct engagement with Parkinson’s disease patients, and is an active member of Parkinson’s Victoria, New South Wales, and Tasmania. He regularly speaks at Parkinson’s disease support groups.

He is also an Australian Institute of Policy and Science Victorian Tall Poppy and recently won the NHMRC Research Excellence Award for Highest Ranked Industry Career Development.

Dominic and the whole Florey team thanks the Argyrou family for this $80,000 grant.

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