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Identifying plasma-derived extracellular vesicles as biomarkers markers of onset and severity of motor neurone disease (MND)

A major stumbling block in developing a cure for Motor Neuron Disease (MND) is the lack of reliable biomarkers for diagnosis, prognosis and testing drug efficiency.

Presently, early diagnosis of disease onset is not possible in people with MND, which hinders the ability to establish an early diagnostic biomarker profile. Plasma-derived extracellular vesicles (EVs) can reflect the physiological/pathophysiological status of the cells and tissues producing them. They are taken up from the cellular environment into other cell types to impact cellular function and can cross the blood-brain barrier. In a disease such as MND, that is influenced by the potential cross-talk between multiple cell types, plasma-derived EVs are an excellent source to establish biomarker profiles.

We will use a novel MND mouse model that allows us to determine disease on-set and recovery, to determine how EVs reflect disease status.

Prerequistes

Applicants must hold an undergraduate degree with first class honours in the Biomedical or related science field.

Interested students must meet Deakin University‚Äôs PhD entry requirements and be eligible to apply for an Australian Post Graduate Award or equivalent. The supervision team will work with suitably qualified applicants to apply for scholarship funding.

Applicants should have an interest in laboratory science and a willingness to be challenged and work as part of a team.

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