BANNER BABYhttps://florey.edu.au/uploads/banner-subpages/Tractography_cropped.jpg

Iron and Biological Ageing

To solve the mystery of human ageing we propose to first understand it in a simpler animal. Our laboratory takes a fresh approach, using the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans with a focus on biological metal ions. Metal ions are essential for life with approximately half of all proteins using a metal ion co-factor. However, excess metal ions can be highly toxic. Organs such as the brain accumulates iron through life, which may contribute to disease risk.

Aims

To explore why the handling of redox-active iron fatigues with age, and creates a toxic, pro-ageing biochemistry and drives cell death. In addition, this project will

  • Characterise the cellular consequences of age-dependent iron changes
  • Investigate cell type specific restoration of iron homeostasis to identify where iron toxicity occurs and if and how it spreads

Age is the single biggest risk factor for major neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. How ageing drives disease susceptibility is a fundamental but poorly understood question.

To solve the mystery of human ageing we propose to first understand it in a simpler animal. Our laboratory takes a fresh approach, using the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans with a focus on biological metal ions. Metal ions are essential for life with approximately half of all proteins using a metal ion co-factor. However, excess metal ions can be highly toxic. Organs such as the brain accumulates iron through life, which may contribute to disease risk.

Figure: X-ray Fluorescence micrograph of iron within an intact C. elegans specimen.

Support us

Brain health affects all Australians.
You can support our research by making a donation or a bequest.

Newsletter

Latest breakthroughs, news, events & more.