Neurobiology > About The Laboratory
The Northcott Neuroscience Laboratory, headed by Professor Marina Kennerson is internationally renowned in the field of molecular genetics of human hereditary neuropathies. Under her research leadership, the group continues to find gene mutations causing neurodegeneration of peripheral nerve and motor neurons. The identification and characterisation of these genes is informing the mechanisms causing degenerative nerve disease.
Our overall research aims to discover new genes and investigate the underlying pathogenic biology causing inherited peripheral neuropathies including Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease. Our research has an exemplary international track record in the discovery of CMT genes and continues to identify genes responsible for several neuromuscular disorders. Our group has expertise in genetic linkage mapping, bioinformatics, next generation sequencing (NGS). Professor Kennerson has expanded translational genomics capabilities through the use of induced pluripotent stem cell patient derived motor neurons (iPSC-MN) and animal models (C. elegans and mice) being integrated into the research program.
Our understanding of the genetics behind CMT will enable us to develop treatments and therapeutic intervention to stop the progression of such neurodegenerative disorders. Our research program aims to promote new knowledge for diagnosis and treatment of degenerative nerve disease in an engaging training/mentorship environment for students and career scientists.
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Micrograph of an adult day 1 C. elegans imaged under bright field light (left) and fluorescent light (right). C. elegans are small, round, transparent nematodes. The strain we use expresses a green fluorescent protein in their motor neurons than enables us to visualise their motor neuron cell bodies and axons (shown in green).