Evaluating whether current cell models of MND accurately reflect the disease in humans by using imaging techniques to observe protein aggregation.

Dr Dezerae Cox

Principal Investigator: Dr Dezerae Cox

Lead Institution: University of Cambridge

MND Association Funding: £155,052* 

Funding dates: July 2021 - October 2023

*Supported by The Lady Edith Wolfson Fellowship Programme, the Cambrigshire MND Association branch and the UK Government BEIS/DH Medicial Research Charity Support Fund

About the project

This project aims to use sensitive imaging techniques to enhance understanding of toxic protein aggregates. Preventing toxic protein aggregates being formed and causing damage are possible ways to treat MND, and the presence of these aggregates could be used for early disease diagnosis. However, detailed understanding of the shape, size and properties of these aggregates has been hampered by their low abundance and the fact they can form many different types of clumps. It remains unclear how well cellular models used in MND research best represent the real disease. Therefore, this project will also characterise and compare the protein aggregates formed in cellular models and patient-derived tissue to determine which cell model is most realistic.

What could this mean for MND research?

This project will help to increase our understanding of the role that aggregates play in MND, which could lead to the identification of new targets for future treatments of the disease.

Project code: 971-799

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