As we shared with you recently, Shake It Up and The Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF) have committed over $1.6M to five Australian Parkinson’s research projects so far this financial year. This makes the Shake It Up / MJFF partnership the largest non-government funder of Parkinson’s research in Australia.
Today we wish to share with you the second of these projects.
Researcher: Nicolas Luke Dzamko, PhD
Institution: Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA)
Understanding LRRK2 S910/S935 phosphorylation is important for therapeutic LRRK2 inhibitor development.
People with certain genetic differences (mutations) in the LRRK2 gene are at much greater risk of getting Parkinson’s. While only a small percentage of all Parkinson’s cases are directly due to LRRK2 mutations understanding what LRRK2 does and what it may do differently in Parkinson’s disease patients is a big research priority, as pharmaceutical companies are developing drugs that can block LRRK2 function. Understanding how LRRK2 mutations cause Parkinson’s disease is complicated though, as the mutations have a number of effects on the LRRK2 protein. This project aims to use new models to separate the effects of LRRK2 mutations and study them in isolation. This may help delineate how LRRK2 mutations are causing Parkinson’s disease and the best ways to therapeutically target the LRRK2 protein for new Parkinson’s disease treatments.
Duration: 1 year
Value: AUD $150,230
Funding of this project reflects Shake It Up and MJFFs ongoing commitment to the talent of the team at NeuRA and their ability to answer some of the key questions surrounding LRRK2 research.
From a Shake It Up perspective we are absolutely delighted that this world leading research exists here in Australia.
Having recently committed such large sums of money to new projects, Shake It Up must now generate additional revenue if we are to maintain our commitment.
To that end we are seeking to raise an additional $1M by the end of 2016 and we need your help.
Please contribute today so that we can maintain our pace in the quest for a cure.
About Nic Dzmako
Nic Dzamko works with Professor Glenda Halliday to understand the causes of Parkinson’s disease. In Particular Nic focuses on the leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2), the leading genetic cause of autosomal dominant Parkinson’s disease. Nic has a biomedical science degree with first class honours and a Chancellors letter of commendation from Flinders University of South Australia and a PhD from the University of Melbourne. Nic has trained at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research and at the MRC Protein Phosphorylation Unit in Dundee, Scotland.
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