Manipulating the slow motor neuron environment as a strategy to attenuate the progression of motor neuron disease (MND)

The aim of this project is to determine if the onset and progression of MND can be reduced through pharmacological and gene therapy that promotes a slow MN environment in mouse and cell models.



In the early stages of MND fast motor neurons (MNs) and the fast fibres they innervate degenerate at a considerably faster rate than the slow MNs and their innervated slow muscle fibres.  The protective mechanisms within the slow MN environment are not well characterised. However promoting a slow MN environment may attenuate MND disease progression.

This project will use pharmacological and gene therapy approaches to promote a slow MN environment in several mouse and cell models of MND to determine if this strategy maintains functional connections between the skeletal muscle and MNs and attenuates disease onset and progression.


Applicants must hold an undergraduate degree with first class honours or Masters by Research in the Biomedical or related science field. Evidence of publishing in an international peer reviewed journal is an advantage.

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, a willingness to be challenged and to work as part of a team.

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