MND research grants

The MND Research Institute of Australia awarded $2.57 million for 25 new grants for research in 2015, listed in the table below. For more information on a specific project, please click the name of researcher or click here.
For information on the grants awarded for research in 2014, please click here.
 

projects funded by MNDRIA in 2015

The MND Research Committee approved MNDRIA grants to the following researchers to assist with their projects commencing in 2015. To follow their progress subscribe to our biannual newsletter, Advance.

For more information on a project, please click the name of the researcher or click here.
 
New grants awarded by MNDRIA to commence in 2015 
MND Australia Ice Bucket Challenge Grant
Professor Naomi Wray
Queensland Brain Institute, University of Queensland
Sporadic ALS Australian Systems Genomics Consortium (SALSA-SGC)
Postdoctoral Fellowships
BMRI, University of Sydney
Hyperexcitability of the lower motor neuron in ALS Bill Gole Postdoctoral MND Research Fellowship 
Westmead Hospital,
University of Sydney
Insights into ALS pathophysiology from patterns of disease progression Beryl Bayley Postdoctoral MND Research Fellowship
Grants-in-aid
Grant recipient Project title Grant awarded
ASAM, Macquarie University
Optimising the protective activity of protein disulphide isomerase in motor neuron disease Angie Cunningham Laugh to Cure MND Grant
ASAM, Macquarie University
Next-Generation Sequencing of Australian sporadic MND patients to identify genetic risk factors MND Ice Bucket Challenge Grant-in-aid
Menzies, University of Tasmania
Synaptic dysfunction: an early mechanism of TDP-43 pathogenesis in ALS MNDRIA Grant-in-aid
ASAM, Macquarie University
Proteomic studies to identify the defects caused by mutations in a newly identified familial MND gene   Mick Rodger Benalla MND Research Grant 
Menzies, University of Tasmania
Inhibitory regulation of motor neurons: A new target mechanism for ALS? Mick Rodger MND Research Grant 
University of Melbourne
Determining the mechanism of toxicity of C9ORF72 RAN translation products Peter Stearne Familial MND Research Grant
UQ Centre for Clinical Research
Blood biomarkers in ALS: Translation into clinical practice of pNfH and search for additional biomarkers using proteomics Graham Lang Memorial MND Research Grant
Macquarie University
Decision support tools for motor neurone disease multidisciplinary care. MND Victoria Research Grant
Dept of Anatomy, University of NSW
Novel MND mouse models MNDRIA Grant-in-aid
UQ Centre for Clinical Research
A multicentre study of the impact of metabolic balance and dietary intake on the clinical parameters of disease progression Cunningham Collaboration Grant
Garvan Institute of Medical Research
Genomic approach to find new MND disease genes and drug targets Terry Quinn MND Research Grant
UQ School of Biomedical Sciences
In search of novel MND therapeutics: investigating the role of selective KATP channel activators on cortical hyperexcitability, corticospinal circuit degeneration, and cortical bioenergetics Bob Delaney MND Research Grant
UQ School of Biomedical Sciences
The role of altered neuromuscular activity and mRNA transport in modifying the progression of MND MNDRIA Grant-in-aid
Neuroscience Research Australia
Histopathological changes in functional zones of the cerebellum across the MND-FTD continuum MNDRIA Grant-in-aid
Florey Institute of Neuroscience & Mental Health
Androgen receptor abnormalities in MND Ted Dimmick Memorial MND Research Grant
Westmead Millenium Institute,
University of Sydney 
Safety and biological efficacy of narrow-band UVB phototherapy in ALS MNDRIA Grant-in-aid
ASAM, Macquarie University
Epigenomic approaches to understand MND disease variability Rosalind Nicholson MND Research Grant
UQ School of Biomedical Sciences
Therapeutic targeting of the NLRP3 inflammasome using a potent and orally active inhibitor in experimental MND Charles & Shirley Graham MND Research Grant
IHMRI, University of Wollongong
Monitoring accumulation of ubiquitin chains in ALS – Developing a potential imaging tool for monitoring preclinical disease progression Zo-ee MND Research Grant
NHMRC/MNDRIA Co-funded Postgraduate Scholarship
Nicole Sheers 
Institute of Breathing and Sleep, Austin Health
Lung Volume Recruitment in Neuromuscular Disease: Can "breathing-stacking" improve lung function, respiratory symptoms and quality of life in people with neuromuscular disorders?  NHMRC/MNDRIA Co-funded Postgraduate Scholarship
MNDRIA PhD Scholarship Top-up Grant
Victoria McLeod
Florey Institute of Neuroscience & Mental Health
Androgen Receptor Dysregulation in ALS MNDRIA PhD Scholarship Top-up Grant
Travel Scholarships
Dr Nimeshan Geevasinga
University of Sydney
Novel diagnostic algorithm for ALS 
Cortical excitability insights into Riluzole and ALS
Susie Harris Travel Fellowship
Dr Emily Don
Australian School of Advanced Medicine, Macquarie University
Generation of individualised zebrafish models of MND Jenny & Graham Lang Collaboration Travel Grant

 

Project Summaries for MNDRIA-funded projects 2015

MND Australia Ice Bucket Challenge Grant 2015 – 2017

Professor Naomi Wray
Queensland Brain Institute, University of Queensland

> Sporadic ALS Australian Systems Genomics Consortium (SALSA-SGC) 

 

Bill Gole MND Postdoctoral MND Research Fellowship 2015 – 2017

Dr James Howells
BMRI, University of Sydney, NSW

> Investigating the role of oligodendrocytes in ALS 

 

Beryl Bayley Postdoctoral MND Research Fellowship 2015 – 2017

Dr Parvathi Menon
Westmead Hospital, University of Sydney, NSW

> Insights into ALS Pathophysiology from patterns of disease progression 

 

Angie Cunningham Laugh to Cure MND Grant

A/Prof Julie Atkin
ASAM, Macquarie University, NSW

> Optimising the protective activity of protein disulphide isomerase in motor neuron disease 

 

MND Ice Bucket Challenge Grant-in-aid

A/Prof Ian Blair
ASAM, Macquarie University, NSW

> Next-Generation Sequencing of Australian sporadic MND patients to identify genetic risk factors 

 

MNDRIA Grant-in-aid

Dr Catherine Blizzard
Menzies, University of Tasmania, Tasmania

> Synaptic dysfunction: an early mechanism of TDP-43 pathogenesis in ALS 

 

Mick Rodger Benalla MND Research Grant

Prof Roger Chung
ASAM, Macquarie University, NSW

> Proteomic studies to identify the defects in protein-protein interactions and cellular signalling pathways caused by mutations in a newly identified familial MND gene 

 

Mick Rodger MND Research Grant

A/Prof Tracey Dickson
Menzies Research Institute, University of Tasmania, Tasmania

> Inhibitory regulation of motor neurons: A new target mechanism for ALS? 

 

Peter Stearne Familial MND Research Grant

Dr Danny Hatters
University of Melbourne, Victoria

> Determining the mechanism of toxicity of C9ORF72 RAN translation products 

 

Graham Lang Memorial MND Research Grant

Dr Robert Henderson
UQ Centre for Clinical Research, Queensland

> Blood biomarkers in ALS: Translation into clinical practice of pNfH and search for additional biomarkers using proteomics 

 

MND Victoria Research Grant

Dr Anne Hogden
Macquarie University, NSW

> Decision support tools for motor neurone disease multidisciplinary care

 

MNDRIA Grant-in-aid

Prof Lars Ittner
Dept of Anatomy, University of NSW, NSW

> Novel MND mouse models 

 

Cunningham Collaboration Grant

Prof Pamela McCombe
UQ Centre for Clinical Research, Queensland

> A multicentre study of the impact of metabolic balance and dietary intake on the clinical parameters of disease progression 

 

Terry Quinn MND Research Grant

Dr Greg Neely
Garvan Institute of Medical Research, NSW

> Genomic approach to find new MND disease genes and drug targets 

 

Bob Delaney MND Research Grant

Dr Shyuan Ngo
UQ School of Biomedical Sciences, Queensland

> In search of novel MND therapeutics: investigating the role of selective KATP channel activators on cortical hyperexcitability, corticospinal circuit degeneration, and cortical bioenergetics 

 

MNDRIA Grant-in-aid

A/Prof Peter Noakes
UQ School of Biomedical Sciences, Queensland

> The role of altered neuromuscular activity and mRNA transport in modifying the progression of MND 

 

MNDRIA Grant-in-aid

Dr Rachel Tan
Neuroscience Research Australia, NSW

> Histopathological changes in functional zones of the cerebellum across the MND-FTD continuum 

 

Ted Dimmick Memorial MND Research Grant

Dr Bradley Turner
Florey Institute of Neuroscience & Mental Health, Victoria

> Androgen receptor abnormalities in MND 

 

MNDRIA Grant-in-aid

A/Prof Steve Vucic
Westmead Millenium Institute, University of Sydney, NSW

> Safety and biological efficacy of narrow-band UVB phototherapy in ALS 

 

Rosalind Nicholson MND Research Grant

Dr Kelly Williams
ASAM, Macquarie University, NSW

> Epigenomic approaches to understand MND disease variability 

 

Charles & Shirley Graham MND Research Grant

A/Prof Trent Woodruff
UQ School of Biomedical Sciences, Queensland

> Therapeutic targeting of the NLRP3 inflammasome using a potent and orally active inhibitor in experimental MND 

 

zo-ee MND Research Grant

Dr Justin Yerbury
IHMRI, University of Wollongong, NSW

> Monitoring accumulation of ubiquitin chains in ALS – Developing a potential imaging tool for monitoring preclinical disease progression 

 

NHMRC/MNDRIA Co-funded Postgraduate Scholarship

Nicole Sheers
Institute of Breathing and Sleep, Austin Health, VIC

> Lung Volume Recruitment in Neuromuscular Disease: Can ‘breath-stacking’ improve lung function, respiratory symptoms and quality of life for people with neuromuscular disease?

 

MNDRIA PhD Scholarship Top-up Grant

Victoria McLeod
IHMRI, Florey Institute, VIC

> Androgen Receptor Dysregulation in ALS

 

Susie Harris Travel Fellowship 2015

Dr Nimeshan Geevasinga
University of Sydney, NSW

> Novel diagnostic algorithm for ALS & Cortical excitability insights into Riluzole and ALS

 

Jenny & Graham Lang Collaboration Travel Grant 2015

Dr Emily Don
Australian School of Advanced Medicine, Macquarie University, NSW

> Generation of individualised zebrafish models of MND


 

MNDRIA-funded projects 2014

Bill Gole MND Postdoctoral Fellowship 2014 – 2016

Dr Jacqueline Leung
Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre, University of Tasmania, Tasmania

> Investigating the role of oligodendrocytes in ALS 

 

Jenny & Graham Lang Collaboration Travel Grant 2014

Dr Rebecca Sheean
Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, Victoria
Travel to University of Oxford to work with Professor Kevin Talbot and the Oxford Motor Neuron Disease Group

> Development of survival motor neuron (SMN) gene therapy for MND 

 

Graham Lang Memorial MND Research Grant

Professor Samar Aoun
Curtin University, Western Australia

> Best practice in breaking the news of an MND diagnosis: A survey of patients, family carers and neurologists 

 

MNDRIA Grant-in-aid

Associate Professor Julie Atkin
Australian School of Advanced Medicine, Macquarie University, New South Wales

> Identifying novel pathological mechanisms linked to C9ORF72 in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis 

 

MNDRIA Grant-in-aid

Dr Mark Bellingham
School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Queensland, Queensland

> Respiratory motor dysfunction and treatment in an animal model of motor neuron disease 

 

Mick Rodger Benalla MND Research Grant

Dr Beben Benyamin
Queensland Brain Institute, University of Queensland, Queensland

> Trans-ethnic and trans-omic statistical analyses to identify new ALS risk variants 

 

MNDRIA Grant-in-aid

Dr Catherine Blizzard
Menzies Research Institute Tasmania, Tasmania

> Synaptic alterations in ALS: A novel therapeutic target? 

 

Peter Stearne Grant for Familial MND Research

Dr Nicholas Cole
Australian School of Advanced Medicine, Macquarie University, New South Wales

> Modeling the ALS-linked C9ORF72 hexanucleotide repeat expansion in zebrafish 

 

MND Victoria MND Research Grant

Dr Anne Hogden
Centre for Clinical Governance, Australian Institute of Health Innovation, University of New South Wales, New South Wales

> Assessing patient cognition and behaviour in specialised MND multidisciplinary care: a feasibility study 

 

MNDRIA Grant-in-aid

Dr Anna King
Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre, University of Tasmania, Tasmania

> ALS/FTLD (frontotemporal lobar degeneration) proteins in axon function and role in disease 

 

MNDRIA Grant-in-aid

Dr Jeffrey Liddell
Department of Pathology, University of Melbourne, Victoria

> Induction of Nrf2 by neuroprotective CuII (atsm) in SOD1-G37R astrocytes 

 

MNDRIA Grant-in-aid

Dr Marie Mangelsdorf
Queensland Brain Institute, University of Queensland, Queensland

> Targeting EphA4 as a treatment for MND 

 

Graham Smith MND Research Grant

Professor Pamela McCombe
University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research, Queensland

> Investigating the consequences of increased fat catabolism in motor neurone disease 

 

MNDRIA Grant-in-aid

Dr Diane Moujalled
Department of Pathology, University of Melbourne, Victoria

> The role of hnRNP RNA binding proteins in motor neuron degeneration 

 

Charles & Shirley Graham MND Research Grant

Associate Professor Peter Noakes
School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Queensland, Queensland

> The role of altered neuromuscular signalling in ALS: factors that modify the course of MND 

 

MNDRIA Grant-in-aid

Dr Lezanne Ooi
Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute, University of Wollongong, New South Wales

> Examining the role of protein degradation in iPS cell models of ALS 

 

MNDRIA Grant-in-aid

Dr Ken Rodgers
Medical and Molecular Biosciences, University of Technology Sydney, New South Wales

> Studies investigating the non-protein amino acid BMAA, as an environmental trigger for MND 

 

Rosalind Nicholson MND Research Grant

Dr Mary-Louise Rogers
Human Physiology, School of Medicine, Flinders University, South Australia

> A biomarker to track progression of motor neuron disease in humans and MND mice 

 

Mick Rodger MND Research Grant

Associate Professor Aaron Russell
School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University, Victoria

>Inhibiting microRNA-23 as a therapeutic strategy to treat motor neurone disease 

 

Zo-ee MND Research Grant

Dr Bradley Turner
Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, Victoria

> Therapeutic targeting of autophagy in MND 

 

MNDRIA Grant-in-aid

Dr Trent Woodruff
Biomedical Sciences, University of Queensland, Queensland

> Innate immune complement signalling in peripheral immune cells during the progression of motor neurone disease 

 

MNDRIA Grant-in-aid

Associate Professor Naomi Wray
Queensland Brain Institute, University of Queensland, Queensland

> Whole exome sequencing of sporadic MND 

 

MND PhD Scholarship Top-up Grant for 2014 – 2016

Dr Rebekah Ahmed
Neuroscience Research Australia, NSW

> Eating, autonomic and sexual dysfunction in motor neuron disease and frontotemporal dementia 

 

Continuing grants

The following grants were awarded in previous years and continue in 2014:

MND Australia Leadership Grant 2013 – 2016

Associate Professor Ian Blair
Australian School of Advanced Medicine, Macquarie University, New South Wales

> Investigating the pathogenic basis of familial MND 


 

Bill Gole Postdoctoral Fellowship for MND Research 2013 – 2015

Kelly Williams
Australian School of Advanced Medicine, Macquarie University, New South Wales

> Investigating the molecular basis of ALS

 

Graham Linford Postdoctoral Fellowship for MND Research 2013 – 2015 

Dr Sharpley Hsieh
Neuroscience Research Australia, NSW

> Seeing the future in MND
 

MNDRIA/NHMRC Co-funded PhD Scholarship 2013 – 2015

Dr Nimeshan Geevasinga
University of Sydney and Westmead Hospital, New South Wales

> Electrophysiological and neuroanatomical determination of patients with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with the C9ORF72 mutation

Dr Parvathi Menon
University of Sydney and Westmead Hospital, New South Wales

> Pathophysiology of ALS: Evidence to support the dying forward hypothesis

 

PhD Scholarship MND top-up grant 2013 – 2015

Jayden Clark (PhD candidate) and Associate Professor Tracey Dickson (Principal Supervisor)
Menzies Research Institute, University of Tasmania, Tasmania

> Axonal protection in ALS

Rosemary Clark (PhD candidate) and Associate Professor Tracey Dickson (Principal Supervisor)
Menzies Research Institute, University of Tasmania

> Interneuron dysfunction in ALS: A new target for potential therapeutics?

Jennifer Fifita (PhD candidate) and Associate Professor Ian Blair (Principal Supervisor)
Australian School of Advanced Medicine, Macquarie University, NSW

> Examining the role of novel molecules causing motor neuron disease

 

Bill Gole Postdoctoral Fellowship for MND Research 2012 – 2014


Dr Shyuan Ngo

University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research and School of Biomedical Sciences, Queensland

> Investigating the mechanisms underlying defective energy metabolism in motor neuron disease

 

MNDRIA/NHMRC Co-funded PhD Scholarship 2012 – 2014

Dr Neil Simon
Neuroscience Research Australia, New South Wales

> The distribution and spread of motor system dysfunction in early motor neurone disease

 

PhD Scholarship MND top-up grant 2012 – 2014

Alexandra Mot (PhD candidate) and Dr Peter Crouch (Principal Supervisor)
Dept of Pathology, University of Melbourne, Victoria

> Investigating energy metabolism in models of MND to elucidate the mechanism of action of the potential therapeutic CuII(atsm)

 

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