Motor Neuron Disease
Dr Jemma Berry
Our broad aim is to identify genes involved in Motor Neuron Disease (MND) through a novel strategy developed in our laboratory. This strategy involves making use of the most up-to-date genetic and gene expression data to pinpoint regions of the genome most likely to harbour susceptibility genes for MND. Identifying genes involved in the disease will lead to a better understanding of the reasons for and the progression through MND. Such knowledge can then be used to develop new tests, treatments or preventative measures for MND in the long term. Through this project we have identified several candidate regions. Some key gene areas, which have been reported in previous studies, were highlighted in the course of our examination, lending support for our novel approach. We have undertaken analysis of two of the candidate genes and have found some potentially relevant changes. A third gene is now also being examined. The novel changes we have identified will be examined for a functional effect, and the work is continuing in that respect. We will also look at additional gene regions, with the hope that most genetic determinants of disease will be uncovered.
Dr Jemma Berry; Dr Jacky Bentel (Royal Perth Hospital)
We are studying gene variants in DNA extracted from tissue samples of Australian melanoma patients to see whether a correlation exists between variant and outcome after diagnosis. If so, this work will identify treatments for melanoma patients.