Join the fight and help us discover the genetic basis of ALS. Start or support a local initiative to raise funds. Project MinE, make it yours!
Macquarie University (Sydney) is the home of Australia’s largest MND/ALS research program. With links to one of Australia’s largest MND/ALS clinics at the Macquarie University Hospital, this program undertakes multidisciplinary research including genetic, cellular biology, biochemical, and animal model studies.
The University of Sydney’s Brain and Mind Research Institute is the home of multiple research laboratories and research clinics focusing on various brain and mind disorders, including Prof. Kiernan’s ForeFront Multidisciplinary Motor Neurone Disease Research Clinic. The ForeFront research clinic is investigating all aspects of motor neurone disease from changes in cognitive function through to nerve excitability and biomarker and brain banking with the aim of discovering better diagnostic methods, reducing the burden of disease and ultimately discovering a cure.
Macquarie University, the University of Sydney’s Brain and Mind Research Institute and the Motor Neurone Disease Association of Australia (MND Australia) are partners in Project MinE. Australia has a strong track record of participation in international MND/ALS genetic studies. MND Australia believes that involvement in Project MinE is an important step forward in the global fight to better understand the genetic causes of sporadic MND/ALS.
The Australian researchers collaborate in the Sporadic ALS Australia Systems Genomics Consortium (SALSA-SGC). SALSA-SGC brings together established ALS researchers, ALS research clinicians and researchers new to ALS with expertise in analysis of genomics big data. The logistics of establishing SALSA-SGC is masterminded by Anjali Henders. The consortium is led by Professor Naomi Wray, from the University of Queensland and Associate Professor Ian Blair, from Macquarie University, NSW.
In Australia, we have an ambassador for Project MinE.
Ian Davis is a 35 year old doctor living in Melbourne, Australia. Before ALS (a.k.a MND) struck, Ian looked after patients suffering from haematological conditions and cancers. Due to his condition, he was forced to retire from Medical practice in early 2014.
On the 13th of September 2011 he was diagnosed with ALS and told his life expectancy was 3-5 years. The devastating news has taken its toll, both in an ever evolving physical sense, but also on a highly personal level. Despite this, Ian is determined to push ALS into the spotlight, and raise as much awareness and much needed funds to help find a cure to this cruel and relentless disease.
Being medically trained and from a scientific background, Ian believes that the only true way forward in finding a cure for this disease is to solve the ultimate question that all patients diagnosed with ALS ask themselves at one stage or another….. “Why Me?”
Our genetics and DNA lays the pathway, and understanding how will lead to an ultimate answer to this question, and of importance to all those not currently diagnosed with ALS, also help answer “Why could this not happen to me?”…..
Project MinE research in Australia is performed at Macquarie University in Sydney.
Ian Blair is an Associate Professor at Macquarie University, Sydney, where he conceives, instigates and leads studies to unravel the molecular, genetic and cellular basis of ALS/MND. In the past 5 years, his group has played a key role in several familial ALS gene discoveries worldwide.
Professor Matthew Kiernan is the Bushell Chair of Neurology at the University of Sydney’s Brain and Mind Research Institute and a Professor of Neurology and staff specialist at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. Prof. Kiernan and his research team have established methods to investigate and diagnose neurological disease, the latter particularly in relation to motor neurone disease (MND). He leads the ForeFront Motor Neurone Disease Research Clinic at the University of Sydney. Prof. Kiernan is also the Chairman of the Motor Neurone Disease Australia Research Committee, the Vice President of the Australian Brain Foundation and the Editor-In-Chief of the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry.
Professor Naomi Wray holds joint appointments at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB) and the Queensland Brain Institute (QBI) within The University of Queensland. She is a National Health and Medical Research Council Principal Research Fellow and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science. She is a Board Member of the International Society for Psychiatric Genetics, and is Associate Editor for the journals JAMA Psychiatry and Genetics. Her research focusses on development of quantitative genetics and genomics methodology with application to psychiatric and neurological disorders.
Naomi Wray, Prof Peter Visscher and A/Prof Jian Yang together comprise the Executive Team of the Complex Trait Genomics Group (CTGG) funded as an NHMRC Program Grant 2017-2021. The CTGG comprises a critical mass of more than 30 post-doctoral researchers plus research assistants and students, all supported by external grant funding. CTGG is structured into five research themes: Statistical Genomics, Systems Genomics, Psychiatric Genomics, MND Genomics and Genomics of Cognitive Ageing.