Thanks to your generous support, MND NSW has funded grants for two researchers as part of the 2024 MNDRA research grant program.

Congratulations to Dr Sayanthooran Saravanabavan from Macquarie University, and Dr Rachel Tan from the University of Sydney, we look forward to the knowledge gained about MND as part of your research projects.

Run MND NSW Research Grant,

Lead investigator: Dr Sayanthooran Saravanabavan
Institution: Macquarie University 
Title: Examining the pathogenic roles of circular RNAs in genomic instability in ALS

Genomic instability in motor neurons is fundamental to the origin and repercussions of ALS pathology, therefore an ideal target for preventative interventions. A paradigm shift in the past decade revealed that non-coding RNAs are essential for safeguarding the genome’s integrity. Notably, ALS-associated proteins are central players in RNA metabolism, suggesting a link between genomic instability in ALS and the realm of RNA. This project will examine the role of circular non-coding RNA in ALS and advance insights into its causes, proposing both strategies to tackle genomic instability in ALS and pinpointing novel genes for intervention against associated pathology.


Dr Paul Brock MND NSW Research Grant

Lead investigator: Dr Rachel Tan
Institution: University of Sydney
Title: Accessible disease-specific biomarkers for sporadic MND

The ability to match each patient with MND to a relevant treatment targeting the specific underlying pathology is critical for successful drug development and intervention. This proposal studies the blood samples, brain and spinal cord from patients who have been followed longitudinally to autopsy to identify blood biomarkers of underlying pathology. It is focused on sporadic MND and harnesses a wealth of longitudinal clinical and pathobiological data to significantly advance current understanding of sporadic disease pathogenesis to accelerate the identification and treatment development process for this insidious disease.

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