The Cellular and Molecular Neurodegeneration Laboratory investigates the cause and potential treatments for brain diseases including dementia (Alzheimer’s disease), motor neuron disease (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) and Parkinson’s disease. These disorders (collectively known as neurodegenerative diseases) are a growing health issue in Australia and worldwide, with few treatment options available. In order to gain a better understanding of these diseases and develop new therapeutic approaches, the research team is currently developing new human brain cell culture methods for microglia, brain endothelial cells, organoids (mini-brains), and olfactory (nasal) cells.
The lab is utilising these new 2D and 3D human brain cell models to understand brain disease pathways, and the impact of environmental factors such as air pollution, SARS-CoV-2, and bushfire smoke on brain health. We have also established platforms for drug screening to identify potential new therapeutics for treatment of brain diseases.