Our Research Projects

Shake It Up together with our partners at The Michael J. Fox Foundation have funded 38 Research projects at 12 different institutes to the value of over $10.8 Million.

Dr Oliver Rawashdeh, PhD
Award Date: May 2019
Duration: 18 Months
Institution: The University of Queensland
Researchers: Dr Oliver Rawashdeh, PhD
Associate Professor Kay Double, PhD
Award Date: May 2019
Duration: 18 Months
Institution: University of Sydney
Researchers: Associate Professor Kay Double PhD
Professor Glenda Halliday
Award Date: May 2019
Duration: 12 months
Institution: Brain and Mind Institute
Researchers: Professor Glenda Halliday

This project 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.

Prof. Andrew Hill and Dr. Lesley Cheng
Award Date: February 2019
Duration: 1 year
Institution: La Trobe University
Researchers: Prof. Andrew Hill and Dr Lesley Cheng

Shake It Up Australia together with our partners at The Michael J. Fox Foundation have committed funding to Professor Andrew Hill at La Trobe University to test the power of extracellular vesicles (EVs), or cell particles, to detect the disease via a simple blood test.

Dr Richard Gordon
Award Date: February 2019
Duration: 2 Years
Institution: The University of Queensland
Researchers: Dr Richard Gordon and Dr John O’Sullivan

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 Matthew Brodie
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).

Nicolas Dzamko PhD
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.

Professor Glenda Halliday
Award Date: September 2018
Duration: 1 Years
Institution: The University of Sydney
Researchers: Nicolas Dzamko PhDq

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.

Associate Professor John O'Sullivan
Award Date: April 2018
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.

Professor Simon Lewis
Award Date: April 2018
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.

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