Principal Advisor: Associate Professor Dominic Ng

Email: d.ng1@uq.edu.au

Phone: 07 3365 3077

Research group page: Ng Group - Kinase biology

Organisational unit: School of Biomedical Sciences

Protein-protein interactions and assembly into higher ordered structures are essential for neuronal functions such as intracellular transport, signal transduction and RNA processing. The abnormal interactions between proteins, leading to aggregation, are toxic to neurons (proteinopathy) and are common pathological features in many neurodegenerative conditions such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. In sporadic cases, it remains unknown what triggers abnormal protein aggregation and whether this is a cause or consequence of disease. This project will utilize latest optogenetic technology to develop light-responsive proteins for rapid and reversible assembly in order to determine when physiological protein interactions transition to toxic protein aggregates. Project outcomes will increase knowledge of the etiology and molecular mechanisms underlying highly prevalent and debilitating age-related neurogenerative conditions.