Understanding the underlying pathological mechanisms to find a cure for Batten disease


   Department of Biochemistry

  ,  Applications accepted all year round  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The Neurodegenerative and Lysosomal Disease Laboratory is interested in the molecular and cellular basis of neurodegenerative disease, particularly how lysosome dysfunction influences the development of Batten disease and Parkinson’s disease. We have two projects available for prospective PhD students starting in 2023.

A healthy brain requires functional lysosomes, the cellular waste recycling system. Defects in lysosomes are a common feature of brain diseases. In this project, we will determine how dysfunction of the lysosomal system in neurons and glia influences the development of Batten disease, a lysosomal storage disease. We will use iPSC and CRISPR technologies, high-throughput assays, immunohistochemistry/cytochemistry, confocal microscopy, and transcriptomic and proteomic analyses to test the following aims.

  1. Using an in vivo model of CLN6 Batten disease, test the pathologies in brain tissue.
  2. Test therapies for a CLN1 Batten disease family in New Zealand.
  3. Find novel long-noncoding RNAs regulating lysosomal biology in Batten disease.

For further information, please refer to the following web pages:

Lead PI: Professor Stephanie Hughes () – https://www.otago.ac.nz/biochemistry/people/profile/index.html?id=398

Co-PI: Dr Indranil Basak () - https://www.otago.ac.nz/healthsciences/expertise/Profile/?id=2970

Biological Sciences (4) Chemistry (6)

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