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Light-responsive molecular tools to study Tau-mediated neurodegeneration

36 months
Approved budget:
Dr Cassandra Fleming
Associate Professor Peter Crouch
Associate Professor Christopher Hall
Associate Professor Dong-Xu Liu
Health issue:
Neurological (CNS)
Proposal type:
Emerging Researcher First Grant
Lay summary
Unfortunately, effective treatments for Alzheimer’s disease are currently unavailable, simply due to the fact that we still do not understand what exactly causes the decline in brain function. This project aims to develop new 'light-responsive' molecular tools. In doing so, one can control when and where a drug can bind in the central nervous system (CNS) of a suitable model system and study it's mode of action. Following the administration of the drug in an inactive form, light will be used to trigger its activation only in the CNS of the model system. Results arising from this project will afford researchers with unique tools to study the role of key enzymes in the CNS and their relationship to neurodegeneration, which today are poorly understood. We envision that the information generated from this project will greatly assist the scientific community in identifying new therapeutic strategies to combat this debilitating disease.