Pre-clinical Parkinson’s Disease Research Laboratory

This laboratory focuses on understanding the basic cellular functions and the changes in functions of cells that result in the spectrum of Parkinsonian disorders, such as that occurs in, Parkinson’s disease, Parkinson’s disease dementia and multiple system atrophy. 

We are particularly interested in the biology of iron and copper in these diseases and how they interact with alpha-synuclein to produce the wide range of symptoms and pathologies observed within these disorders.

In conjunction with Prana Biotechnology we are able to explore novel compounds that have the potential to move towards novel therapeutics. One compound we helped select has completed pre-clinical testing in the laboratory.  This compound is undergoing toxicology testing, safety trials in humans for this compound are being planned for the near future.

We utilise a number of techniques within the laboratory, such as in vivo mouse models of  disease,  animal behaviour, aseptic surgery, microdialysis, multi-electrode arrays for electrophysiology, cell culture (primary cultures, cell lines), western blot, advance microscopy and  histological work (stereology) utilising  both animal and donated human tissues. The overall aim of this laboratory is to use the cellular knowledge of Parkinsonian disorders to development new therapeutic directions.

PhD student projects are available.

This Laboratory is currently supported by: NHMRC, ARC, Prana Biotechnology, MJ Fox and Shake it up Foundation, Parkinson’s UK and has strong ties with Parkinson’s Victoria.

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