Quick Project Snapshot

Bioanalytical tools to investigate the role of metalloproteins in Alzheimer’s disease and Motor Neuron Disease

Trace elements are an essential requirement for life. Transition elements, including copper (Cu), iron (Fe) and zinc (Zn), are used to catalyse a wonderful array of reactions throughout all kingdoms of nature.

It is then no surprise that the most complex organ to have evolved, the brain, is a rich source of transition metal chemistry. However, we still lack the detailed understanding of how transition elements and the biomolecules that rely on them are involved in the function of the brain.

Alzheimer’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as motor neuron disease (MND), both have a rich history indicating a critical role of trace elements Cu, Fe, and Zn in their pathophysiology.

My lab has implemented bioanalytical tools that allow us to investigate the role metalloproteins have in neurodegeneration.

This project will investigate the role of metalloproteins in the neurodegenerative process.


Dr Blaine Roberts

Neuroproteomics and Metalloproteomics Laboratory

The Neuroproteomics and Metalloproteomics Laboratory focuses on using proteomics to understand Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.  The group has a particular interest in understanding the role of metals in biology and has developed new proteomic technologies to measure metalloproteins. Further, this group is using proteomics to characterize new blood borne biomarkers for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

All Projects by this Lab

Biomarker discovery for Neurodegenerative diseaseUnderstanding the natural biology of Aß peptides in human brainWhat causes a neuron to die? Investigating the essential role of selenium nutrition in neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’sBioanalytical tools to investigate the role of metalloproteins in Alzheimer’s disease and Motor Neuron Disease


Scientists in the Neurodegeneration division interrogate how neurones live, die and can be rescued to improve brain function in degenerative conditions such as Parkinson’s and Motor Neuron Diseases. There is no effective treatment for Motor Neurone Disease and the incidence of Parkinson’s Disease is rising alarmingly in our aging community. Gene abnormalities, energy deprivation, toxic rubbish accumulation and inflammation all contribute to a toxic environment for brain cells. Our teams study these events in animal models and cultured cells, with a view to translating knowledge into new therapies for human patients.

All Labs that operate in this Division

Atomic Pathology LaboratoryCreutzfeldt Jakob Disease Clinical Research GroupMolecular Gerontology LaboratoryMotor Neurone Disease LaboratoryNational Dementia Diagnostics LaboratoryNeurochemistry of Metal IonsNeurogenesis and Neural Transplantation LaboratoryNeuropathology and Neurodegeneration LaboratoryNeuroproteomics and Metalloproteomics LaboratoryNeurotherapeutics LaboratoryParkinson's Disease LaboratoryPre-clinical Parkinson’s Disease Research LaboratoryPresynaptic Physiology Stem Cells and Neural Development LaboratorySteroid Neurobiology LaboratorySynaptic Neurobiology LaboratoryThe Australian Imaging Biomarker and Lifestyle Study (AIBL)