Diseases of the Nervous System

SBBS is home to a number of Investigator groupings that work in collaboration toward shared research questions in relation to disorders of the nervous system and neurodegeneration.   Research topics cover multiple sclerosis, prion based diseases, Alzheimer’s disease, movement disorders including dystonia.  Drawing expertise from neuroscientists and pharmacologists, considerable emphasis is placed on the development of neurotherapeutics.

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Research Interests: Cilia, C. elegans, intraflagellar transport, Ciliopathy, intracellular trafficking, Bardet Biedl syndrome, basal body, flagella.

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Research Interests: neuroinflammation; neuroimmunology; neurodegeneration; learning, memory and executive brain function.

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Dr. Haase’s research group is interested in the regulation of neurotransmitter systems under physiological and pathological conditions, with a particular focus on the serotonergic system and its relevance to mood disorders as well as the mechanism of action of antidepressant drugs and psychostimulants. The group has been studying various aspects of serotonin transporter (SERT) regulation, primarily the identification and characterisation of SERT interacting proteins using conventional and proteomics approaches. More recently, using animal models of human disease, the research group has been focussing on the regulation of SERT in response to immune system activation.

Keywords: neurotransmitter transporter, serotonin, depression, antidepressants, neuroimmunology, protein-protein interactions, proteomics, lipid microdomains

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Research Interests: Alzheimer’s disease; Electrophysiology, Synaptic transmission and synaptic plasticity; Mechanisms of neurodegeneration and regulation of neuronal networks.

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Research Interests: G-protein coupled-receptor (GPCR); cannabinoids; cell signalling; pharmacology; neuroscience;  imaging of cytoskeletal dynamics; therapeutic target development.

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My research focusses on understanding mechanisms of neuroprotection and the prevention of oxidative stress in the brain. My main interest is in the role played by sulphur-containing amino acids in thiol redox balance and antioxidant defence mechanisms in astrocytes and microglial cells. A particular focus is on regulation of the cystine-glutamate exchanger in glia and metabolic pathways that maintain intracellular cysteine; also, how glial cells upregulate synthesis of the major brain antioxidant, glutathione in response to oxidative stress, cell activation or pathological conditions.  Currently, my group is investigating changes to sulphur amino acid metabolism in the brain as a result of the lysosomal storage disease, cystinosis. Experimental models include mammalian and human astrocyte and microglial cell lines and expression systems, and primary astrocytes. Techniques include measurement of the functional activity and expression of transporter proteins and enzymes, biochemical assays and molecular and imaging techniques.

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Research Interests: biochemical mechanisms behind Prion diseases; Therapeutics; link between Prion disorders and Alzheimer's disease; aging; oxidative stress.

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Research Interests: Memory function; neuropsychiatric disease; neurotherapeutics; Multiple Sclerosis.

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Research Interests: Dopamine, serotonin and TRH receptor pharmacology in mammalian brain. Glycoconjugates and angiogenesis, Drugs of abuse, Drug/receptor and receptor/receptor interactions.

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Research Interests:  biotherapeutics; biotechnology;  activity of the calcium binding protein secretagogin in neuronal cells; protein networks.

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Research Interests: Synaptic plasticity, Pro-inflamatory cytokines, hypoxia, Fast scan voltammetry.

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Research Interests: molecular mechanisms underlying neurodegeneration in human disorders; role of endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-mitochondrial contacts in neurons; model organism: fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster; neurodegenerative disorders.

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My lab is interested in neurodegeneration, particularly in the prion diseases and Alzheimer’s disease (AD).  After many years of studying the mechanism of propagation of prions, the factors that affect susceptibility and resistance to different strains of prions and the molecular basis of prion strain determination, my recent interests have become directed more toward the mechanism of neurodegeneration in AD and prion disease. My main focus of research at present is the role of the cellular isoform of the prion protein (PrP) in mediating neurotoxicity in AD.

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