Principal Advisor: Professor Trent Woodruff


Research group: Woodruff Group - Neuroinflammation

Organisational unit: School of Biomedical Sciences

Prior studies from our laboratory have shown that circulating immune cells in patients with neurodegenerative diseases such as motor neuron disease (MND) are shifted towards a more activated state and correlate with rate of progression and disease phenotype. This suggests that immune cells and their activation status are important in determining functional outcomes. What is not yet known however, is the mechanisms within disease patient’s cells that drive this clinical presentation. The goal of this project is therefore to identify, the molecular and functional mechanisms that are shifted in immune cells of patients with neurodegenerative disease. The project will combine clinical studies with laboratory ‘bench-work’ utilising state of art techniques including flow cytometry, RNA sequencing, and LC-MS metabolomics to interrogate the molecular basis to cellular functions. Outcomes of this project will lead to a greater understanding of the immune-drivers of neurodegeneration, and identification of clinically tractable therapeutic targets.