UQ scientist to lead research project at distinguished research institute

9 Feb 2016

University of Queensland scientist Dr Matt Fogarty will begin a two year research project focusing on breathing at the prestigious Minnesota Mayo Clinic in April.

The project will investigate the role of motor neurons in respiration and builds on Dr Fogarty’s research at the School of Biomedical Sciences into amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

“The aim of this project is to investigate why respiratory motor neurons degenerate less quickly than motor neurons controlling other functions,” Dr Fogarty said.

 “ALS is a progressive disease where brain and spinal cord motor neurons controlling muscles degenerate and die, affecting a person’s ability to walk, speak, swallow and breathe.

“The diaphragm is the major breathing muscle and the motor neurons which control it degenerate more slowly than those of other motor groups, so breathing is often the last function to be affected.”

Dr Fogarty’s two year project at the Mayo Clinic is funded by a CJ Martin Overseas Biomedical Early Career Fellowship awarded by the National Health Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

Under the four year Fellowship conditions, the overseas research component will be followed by a two year research project at UQ’s School of Biomedical Sciences in Australia. 

Dr Fogarty said he was thrilled the Mayo Clinic had accepted the proposal for his Fellowship research project.

“The Minnesota Mayo Clinic is a world leader in the area of breathing and the respiratory muscle control,” he said.

“I’m delighted to be undertaking my research project with them.

“Mayo Clinics are also committed to providing the best patient care possible through integrated clinical practice, education and research and that’s another important aspect of this research project.”

Media: Dr Matt Fogarty, matthew.fogarty@uq.net.au, Lynda Flower, l.flower@uq.edu.au, +61 (0) 7 3365 1536.