Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease Clinical Research Group
Steven Collins is a neurologist-scientist, who over the last 20 years has predominantly researched prion diseases, thereby developing extensive clinico-epidemiological and basic scientific research experience in prion diseases in parallel with developing his own independent teams dedicated to studying prion disease epidemiology, as well as undertaking basic scientific research relating to normal prion protein cell biology and prion pathogenesis. Over the 20 years of prion disease research Prof Collins has supervised numerous post-graduate students and mentored early and mid-career scientists, and established numerous international collaborations, especially for epidemiological research, often taking the lead role in multi-national research, with output from clinico-epidemiological research published in high quality journals such as Lancet, Nature Medicine, Annals of Neurology, Brain, Alzheimer’s & Dementia and The American Journal of Human Genetics. The clinico-epidemiological research has emphasised assessment and validation of biomarkers often prompting revision of consensus diagnostic criteria for epidemiological research and clinical evaluation. Prof Collins has recently extended his interest in diagnostic biomarkers into Alzheimer’s disease (AD), as well as participation in AD clinical trials. As a consequence of his interest and experience in diagnostic biomarkers, Prof Collins is now Director of two national NATA accredited diagnostic laboratories. Prof Collins also has considerable experience in the use of rodent models to study prion diseases, including more sophisticated techniques such as stereotaxic surgery and gross motor, behavioural and cognitive assessment paradigms.
The Australian National Cruetzfeld Jakob Disease Registry is also located within the Florey
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.