Neuroscience/Neuroimmunology Research: Role of antibody in brain immune-mediated diseases
The Institute of Neuromuscular Research (INMR) is part of the Children's Hospital at Westmead (CHW), the largest paediatric centre in NSW, providing the most advanced care and treatment options for the children of NSW, Australia, and across the Pacific Rim. The INMR has the best new researchers from Australia, New Zealand, and Europe to lead the challenge of understanding Muscle and Brain disorders and develop therapies to improve the lives of Australian children. The INMR is supported by competitive national and international research grants, with valued contributions from its fundraiser partners. Our scientists are internationally recognised research leaders and foster excellence in postgraduate training.
The INMR is located within the Kids Research Institute, on the Westmead campus, a major hub for research and medicine in NSW. We are affiliated with the University of Sydney and are easily accessible by public transport.
Projects are multi-disciplinary with training in molecular and cellular biology techniques, including gene discovery, PCR and western blotting, protein-protein interactions, animal model phenotyping, live cell imaging, flow cytometry, and immunology.
Movement and psychiatric disorders, such as encephalitis, Sydenham's Chorea, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and Tourette syndrome occur frequently and affect the brain of children. Their symptoms are depression, psychosis, sleep disorders, seizures, and a full range of movement disorders. Finding a treatment is challenging, and therefore they often lead to neurological disability. A humoral (B cell and antibody) autoimmune response has been identified in subgroups of children. The targets of the attack are important brain proteins against which antibodies are raised, such as neurotransmitter receptors, or voltage-gated ion channels. This discovery has raised new hope for the treatment of these children as humoral immunity-targeted therapies, such as plasma exchange and B cell-depleting anti-CD20 antibody therapy (Rituximab) have shown promising results in adults. This research project is aimed at analysing the repertoire of autoantibodies (immunoglobulins) produced in children affected by autoantibody-associated brain diseases. Our research will greatly improve the knowledge of B cell-dependent brain immune-mediated diseases with direct translational effects into the care of these patients.
This opportunity is available on a PhD scholarship with Institute for Neuroscience and Muscle Research. Interested students are strongly advised to contact the project supervisor Dr Fabienne Brilot-Turville to discuss potential Ph.D. projects.
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The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is: 1447
Other opportunities with Dr Fabienne Brilot-Turville
- The role of autoantibodies against neuronal receptors in immune-mediated neurological and psychiatric disorders.
Other opportunities with Associate Professor Russell Dale