Research Grant - 2007

Research Category: Motor Neuron Disease Award

Professor Philip M Beart was the recipient of Brain Foundation grant funding in 2007

Motor Neuron Disease Award

Motor Neuron Disease Award
A new hypothesis of Motoneuron Disease: astrocytes are the non-neuronal neighbours inducing motoneuron injury
Professor Philip M Beart
Brain Injury & Repair, Howard Florey Institute and University of Melbourne
Funded By Michael Rogers Stirling Estate
Co-Investigators : Dr Julie Atkin and Dr Ross O’Shea

Project Summary:

Motor Neurone Disease is a neurodegenerative condition, progressing to paralysis in 1-5 years, and killing 100,000 every year world-wide. We seek to understand its pathogenesis by investigating the underlying mechanisms, which involve different neighbouring cells contributing to the injury of motoneurons. Ongoing work from our laboratory reveals that a population of glial cells, astrocytes, which are intimately associated with motoneurons, profoundly affect their function and existence. We believe that changes to the chemistry and shape of astrocytes initiate a neurotoxic milieu, and that dissection of their roles will provide new clues for management of Motor Neurone Disease.

Brain FoundationThe Brain Foundation is the largest, independent funder of brain and spinal injury research in Australia. We believe research is the pathway to recovery.