Our Research Projects

As the country’s leader in strategic Parkinson’s research funding we are excited about the talent we have in our Australian institutes and the prospect that their work will take us closer to a cure.

Through our unique partnership, we know our research is strategic, non-redundant and internationally competitive. Listed below are the projects we have funded and with your support we look forward to funding many more in the future.

Interested in Participating in our Clinical Trials?

If you are interested in taking part please provide your details below and we will keep you updated when trials become available

Other trials are also available in Australia and around the world. We recommend that you also create a profile on Fox Trial Finder to be alerted to upcoming trails that match your  profile and location.

Award Date: May 2019

Duration: 18 Months

Institution:  The University of Queensland

Researchers:

  • Dr Oliver Rawashdeh, PhD

Promising Outcomes of Original Grant:

Evaluate if improved sleep and circadian rhythms resynchronization can protect against neuropathological features associated with sleep dysfunction in experimental PD models. Collectively, these studies will validate Per1 as a potential disease-modifying target for PD and enable the development of novel therapeutic approaches to improve sleep and circadian function in PD.

Oliver Rawashdeh, PhD
Dr Oliver Rawashdeh, PhD

Award Date: May 2019

Duration: 18 Months

Institution:  University of Sydney

Researchers:

  • Kay Lorraine Double, PhD

Promising Outcomes of Original Grant:

Will leverage digital spatial profiling technology to examine multiple molecular targets on immune-oncology pathways at different pathological progression stages of PD (Braak stages) using patient post-mortem tissue. If successful, this effort has the potential of identifying novel molecular targets for early diagnosis and treatments, as well as establishing a timeline of immunopathological correlation with PD.

Associate Prof. Kay Double

Award Date: May 2019

Duration: 1 Year

Institution:  Brain and Mind Centre, University of Sydney

Researchers:

  • Prof. Glenda Halliday

Promising Outcomes of Original Grant:

Will leverage digital spatial profiling technology to examine multiple molecular targets on immune-oncology pathways at different pathological progression stages of PD (Braak stages) using patient post-mortem tissue. If successful, this effort has the potential of identifying novel molecular targets for early diagnosis and treatments, as well as establishing a timeline of immunopathological correlation with PD.May

Professor Glenda Halliday
Prof. Glenda Halliday

Award Date: February 2019

Duration: 1 Year

Institution:  La Trobe University

Researchers:

  • Prof. Andrew Hill and Dr Lesley Cheng 

Promising Outcomes of Original Grant:

The overall aim of this proposed research project is to provide proof of concept evidence for specific and early exosome-derived brain specific biomarkers of PD that can be readily detected in a simple blood test. The detection of PD associated exosomal biomarkers aims to diagnose pre-clinical PD and assess the effectiveness of drugs that modify disease progression and improve clinical symptoms. The biomarker assay being validated in this project is a serum blood-based exosome microRNA (miRNA) assay that comprises of miRNA associated with Parkinson’s disease (PD). The exosomal miRNA biomarkers were identified in a discovery study through profiling exosomes isolated from brain tissue and serum of PD subjects. The novel hypothesis surrounding this research is that exosomes secreted from brain tissue can migrate across the blood brain barrier into the blood where brain biomarkers are readily detected, acting as readouts of neurological status. This is equivalent to a ‘liquid biopsy’ of the brain.

Andrew Hill
Prof. Andrew Hill and Dr Lesley Cheng

Pharmacological Targeting of Inflammasome Activation Mechanisms in Synuclein Models of Parkinson's Disease

Award Date: February 2019

Duration: 2 Years

Institution:  The University of Queensland

Researchers:

  • Dr Richard Gordon and Dr John O’Sullivan

Promising Outcomes of Original Grant:
Our previous studies confirmed the activation of an immune system complex called the inflammasome is involved in chronic inflammation and the death of brain cells in Parkinson’s disease. Under the previous grant, we also identified and confirmed a new signaling pathway involving toxic forms of the protein alpha-synuclein that activates the inflammasome. We demonstrated that this pathway is activated in people with Parkinson’s and pre-clinical models of the disease. Crucially, blocking this pathway using a repurposed drug was beneficial in pre-clinical models.

Dr Richard Gordon research into Parkinson's disease
Dr Richard Gordon

StandingTall-PD. eHealth technologies to reduce step-time variability, prevent freezing of gait and falls.

Award Date: December 2018

Duration: 2 Years

Institution:  NeuRA and UNSW

Researchers:

  • Matthew Brodie & Associate Professor Kim Delbaere

StandingTall-PD is the first scalable self-managed solution to address excessive step-time variability, balance impairments and FOG in people with PD delivered using mobile technology (tablet, smart-phone, smart-socks and ear-buds).

Matthew Brodie
Dr Matthew Brodie

Inflammatory Phenotypes in Differentiated Human LRRK2 and GBA Mutation IPS Cell Lines

Award Date: October 2018

Duration: 2 Years

Institution:  The University of Sydney

Researchers:

  • Nicolas Dzamko PhD

With previous funding from MJFF & SIU, we determined how the activity of LRRK2 genetic mutations contributed to inflammation in Parkinson’s. We found that inflammation was higher when LRRK2 was more active. This may help explain how LRRK2 contributes to the risk of Parkinson’s disease.

Dr Nic Dzamko
Nicholas Dzamko PhD

Studying Changes in Glucocerebrosidase Activity in People with Parkinson's Disease

Award Date: September 2018

Duration: 1 Year

Institution:  The University of Sydney

Researchers:

  • Nicolas Dzamko PhD

Study Rationale: 
A dysfunction of the glucocerebrosidase (GCase) protein increases the risk of Parkinson’s disease (PD). Blood cells called monocytes produce large amounts of this protein. The aim of this study is to determine how well the GCase protein functions in monocytes from the blood of people diagnosed with PD.

Professor Glenda Halliday
Professor Glenda Halliday

Linked Clinical Trial - NSW

Award Date: April 2018

Recruitment Expected: 2019

Duration: 3 Years

Institution:  Brain and Mind Institute,  University of Sydney

Researchers:

  • Professor Simon Lewis, Professor Dominic Rowe, Professor Glenda Halliday

The protocol for this trial will be  for four drugs and one placebo in patients with more established Parkinson’s as well as validating disease biomarkers that could be used to evaluate the efficacy of future therapeutic treatments.

Professor Simon Lewis
Professor Simon Lewis

Linked Clinical Trial - Queensland

Award Date: April 2018

Recruitment Expected: 2019

Duration: 3 Years

Institution:  The University of Queensland

Researchers:

  • Associate Professor John O’Sullivan

This project is a collaboration between the University of Queensland, Shake It Up, Queensland Government, The Wesley Research Institute, Griffith University and The Cure Parkinson’s Trust.

The protocol for this study is to trial two re-purposed drugs against two placebo groups. The overall approach of the intended trial is to rapidly screen existing drugs that are licensed and used already in clinical practice for other indications to determine whether they are worth transitioning to Phase III, multi-centre, randomised, placebo-controlled, double blind trials. If successful, such trials would facilitate a change in the indication of already licensed medications to allow their use as disease modifying treatments for Parkinson’s disease.

Associate Professor John O'Sullivan
Associate Professor John O'Sullivan

Using MJF-14 antibody to uncover novel alpha-synuclein pathology in Parkinson's disease and MSA

Award Date: December 2017

Duration: 2 Years

Institution:  The University of Sydney

Researchers:

  • Professor Glenda Halliday phD

I) Assess the presence of aggregated alpha-synuclein in inclusions and as diffuse oligomers in PD (Braak stage 4 and 6) and MSA (MSA-p and MSA-C) post-mortem tissues by IHC and IF using
multiple antibodies selected for alpha-synuclien including MJF-14
2) Assess the presence of aggregated alpha-synuclein in inclusions and as diffuse oligomers in PD and MSA post-mo1iem tissues by MJF-14 proximity ligation assay and fF analyses
3) Assess the correlation between the cytopathology of oligodendrocytes, astrocytes and neurons
4) Assess specific protein changes associated with inclusion formation, myelination and mitochondria

Professor Glenda Halliday
Professor Glenda Halliday

Objective Measurement for population screening therapy optimisation and target validation

Award Date: December 2017

Duration: 2 Years

Institution:  Florey Neurosciences Institute

Researchers:

  • Professor Malcolm Horne

Objective measurement in Parkinson’s Disease (PD), offers significant advantages for clinical management and the clinical validation of new therapies.

The Parkinson’s/Personal KinetiGraph™ (PKG™) System provides continuous, objective measurement of movement disorder symptoms in everyday environments, including bradykinesia (BK), dyskinesia (DK) and tremor. The PKG™ system consists of a wearable data logger, proprietary algorithms for data analyses and intuitive data presentation for clinicians (the PKG™ report). The PKG system was TGA Registered in 2009, CE Marked in 2010, and FDA cleared in 2014.

This project seeks to demonstrate that the use of targets will identify PwP with uncontrolled motor features of PD and that treating these subjects according to Treatment Guidelines will bring these scores into target and lead to better clinical and quality of life outcomes. Treatment Guidelines are a critical tool to assist non-specialist clinicians, such as general neurologists and geriatricians, to more effectively manage PD.

Validation of these treatment targets will also advance the evidence-based application of objective measurement and targets for clinical validation of new therapies.

Professor Malcolm Horne

How Does LRRK2 Activity Affect Inflammatory Signaling in Parkinson's Disease?

Award Date: February 2017

Duration: 12 months

Institution:  The University of Sydney

Researchers:

  • Dr Nicolas Dzamko PhD 

Differences in the leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) gene can increase the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease (PD), and there is an abundance of the LRRK2 protein in blood immune cells that regulate inflammation. This project will determine if genetic differences in LRRK2 affect inflammation in PD.

Nic Dzamko, PhD - Parkinson's research
Dr Nicolas Dzamko PhD - University of Sydney

Peripheral Inflammatory Cytokine Profiling in Parkinson's Disease

Award Date: February 2017

Duration: 12 months

Institution:  The University of Sydney

Researchers:

  • Dr Nicolas Dzamko PhD

The contribution of inflammation to Parkinson’s disease (PD) is increasingly being recognised. However, the stage of the disease in which inflammation is prevalent and/or important remains unclear. Our recent work suggests that inflammation may be increased early in the course of PD.

Nic Dzamko, PhD - Parkinson's research
Dr Nicolas Dzamko PhD - University of Sydney

Pharmacological Targeting of Proinflammatory Kinase Signaling in Parkinson’s Disease

Award Date: November 2016

Duration: 12 months

Institution:  UQ’s School of Biomedical Sciences

Researchers:

  • Dr Richard Gordon

The research collaboration comprises researchers from across UQ, including Dr. Richard Gordon and Associate Professor Woodruff from the School of Biomedical Sciences, Dr John O’Sullivan from The School of Medicine and RBWH and Professor Matt Cooper and Dr Kate Schroder from the Institute for Molecular Bioscience.

Dr Richard Gordon research into Parkinson's disease
Dr Richard Gordon

Blocking Inflammasome-induced Neuroinflammation in Parkinson's Disease with a Potent, Orally Available Small Molecule

Award Date: September 2016

Duration: 12 months

Institution:  NHMRC Principal Research Fellow and Professor of Chemistry & Structural Biology at University of Queensland

Researchers:

  • Matthew Allister Cooper, PhD
Matthew Cooper - receives funding from Shake It Up for Parkinson's research
Matthew Cooper, PhD

            FLUROSCENCE TAGGING OF ENDOGENOUS LRRK2 TO ENABLE IN VIVO IMAGING IN MICE AND DIFFERENTIATED HUMAN IPS CELLS

Award Date: March 2016

Duration: 12 months

Institution:  Neuroscience Research Australia

Researchers:

  • Nicolas Dzmako
Nic Dzamko - University of Sydney Parkinson's research
Dr Nicolas Dzamko PhD - University of Sydney

DEVELOPMENT OF A NOVEL TRACER FOR IMAGING A-SYNUCLEIN IN VIVO

Award Date: March 2016

Duration: 12 months

Institution:  The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health

Researchers:

  • Victor Villemagne, MD
  • Kevin Barnham, PhD
Victor Villemagne, MD

UNDERSTANDING LRRK2 S910/S935 PHOSPHORYLATION IS IMPORTANT FOR THERAPEUTIC LRRK2 INHIBITOR DEVELOPMENT.

Award Date: March 2016

Duration: 12 months

Institution:  Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA)

Researchers:

  • Nicolas Dzamko, PhD
Nic Dzamko - University of Sydney Parkinson's research
Dr Nicolas Dzamko PhD - University of Sydney

ARE THERE PERIPHERAL CHANGES IN GBA PROTEIN/ACTIVITY IN IDIOPATHIC PARKINSON'S DISEASE PATIENTS

Award Date: March 2016

Duration: 2 years

Institution:  Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA)

Researchers:

  • Professor Glenda Halliday
Professor Glenda Halliday PhD

MEASURING MITOCHONDRIAL RESPIRATION AND STRESS SIGNALLING IN BLOOD CELLS AS BIOMARKERS FOR PARKINSON'S DISEASE

Award Date:  July 2015

Duration: 3 years

Institution:  La Trobe University

Researchers:

  • Professor Fisher
  • Dr Sarah Annesley
  • Dr Danuta Loesch-Mdzewska

Under an exciting new funding agreement with Parkinson’s Victoria we will see the Shake It Up component for this specific project shared equally with Parkinson’s Victoria.

Professor Paul Fisher

PHARMCOLOGICAL TARGETING OF THE NLRP3 INFLAMMASOME

Award Date:  December 2014

Duration: 2 years

Institution:  University of Queensland

Researchers:

  • Associate Professor Woodruff 
The research team at QLD University
UQ Research Team

LRRK2 AND TYPE-1 INTERFERON

Award Date: July 2014

Duration: 1 year

Institution:  Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA)

Researchers:

  • Professor Glenda Halliday
  • Dr Nicolas Dzamko
Professor Glenda Halliday and Dr Nicolas Dzamko
Professor Glenda Halliday and Dr Nicolas Dzamko

VERIFICATION OF A LONG-NONCODING RNA IN BLOOD AS A BIOMARKER

Award Date:  June 2014

Duration:  1 year

Institution:   Garvan Institute for Medical Research

Researchers:

  • John Mattick
  • Antony Cooper
Anthony Cooper - Garvan Institute
Associate Professor Antony Cooper

EFFECT OF LRRK2 MUTATIONS ON PD ASSOCIATED INFLAMMATION

Award Date:  February 2014

Duration:  1 year

Institution:  Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA)

Researchers:

  • Professor Glenda Halliday
  • Dr Nicolas Dzamko
Professor Glenda Halliday

A BIOMARKER TEST FOR LRRK2 BLOCKING DRUGS

Award Date:  February 2014

Duration:  1 year

Institution:  Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA)

Researchers:

  • Professor Glenda Halliday
  • Dr Nicolas Dzamko
Professor Glenda Halliday and Dr Nicolas Dzamko
Professor Glenda Halliday and Dr Nicolas Dzamko

PARKINSON'S PROGRESSION MARKERS INITIATIVE (PPMI)

Award Date: April 2012

Duration:  Ongoing

Institution:  Macquarie Neurology at Macquarie University Clinic,  Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW

Researcher

  • Professor Dominic Rowe
Professor Dominic Rowe
Professor Dominic Rowe

THE ROLE OF LONG NON-CODING RNAs IN PARKINSON'S DISEASE

Award Date:  September, 2013

Duration:  1 year

Institution:   Garvan Institute for Medical Research

Researchers:

  • John Mattick
  • Antony Cooper
Professor John Mattick
Professor John Mattick

LRRK2 EXPRESSION IN POST MORTEM BRAIN

Award Date:  September 2013

Duration:  18 month

Institution:  Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA)

Researchers:

  •  Prof Glenda Halliday
  • Dr Nic Dzamko
Professor Glenda Halliday and Dr Nicolas Dzamko
Professor Glenda Halliday and Dr Nicolas Dzamko

IMPROVING THERAPEUTIC TARGETING OF DOMPAMINERGIC AFFERENTS

Award Date:  June 2013

Duration:  1 year

Institution:   University of Sydney

Researchers:

  • Atomu Sawatari
  • Catherine Anne Leamey
Dr Catherine Leamey, Dr Atomu Sawatari

ALPHA-SYNUCLEIN AS A MAJOR REGULATOR OF IRON

Award Date: October 2012

Duration:  2 years

Institution: Florey Institute for Neuroscience and Mental Health,

Researchers:

  • Scott Ayton, PhD, Melbourne , Australia
  • David I. Finkelstein, PhD Melbourne , Australia
  • Ashley I. Bush, MD/PhD Melbourne , Australia
Professor David Finklestein
Professor David Finklestein

IS THE XENOMITOCHONDRIAL MOUSE AN 'IDEAL' PD MODEL

Award Date: March 2012

Duration: 1 year

Researchers:

  •  Ian Andrew Trounce, PhD – Center for Eye Research Australia
  • Zane Andrews, PhD -Neuronal Metabolism and Degeneration Lab
  • David Moses MD, FRACP -Department of Clinical Neuroscience and Neurological Research
Dr Ian Andrew Trounce

LRRK2 PHYSIOLOGY IN PARKINSON'S DISEASE

Award Date:   November 2011

Duration: 1 year

Institution:  Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA)

Researchers:

  •  Prof Glenda Halliday
  • Dr Nic Dzamko
Professor Glenda Halliday and Dr Nicolas Dzamko
Professor Glenda Halliday and Dr Nicolas Dzamko

For further information on our research projects please contact us at enquiries@shakeitup.org.au or call us on 1300 361 803

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Summary
Australian Parkinson's Research
Article Name
Australian Parkinson's Research
Description
Shake It Up is a leader in strategic Parkinson’s research funding we are excited about the talent we have in our Australian institutes and the prospect that their work will take us closer to a cure. Learn more about the exciting projects underway.
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Shake It Up Australia Foundation
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