Dementia Research Unit

About us

Our research program is focused on two major neurodegenerative disease complexes - Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Frontotemporal dementia (FTD)/Motor Neuron Disease (MND). Alzheimer’s disease is the most prevalent of all neurodegenerative disorders, characterized by a progressive loss of cognition. Frontotemporal dementia is the second most prevalent form of dementia. Motor neuron disease (also known as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) or Lou Gehrig’s disease) is characterized by rapid degeneration of motor neurons and shares molecular and clinical features with Frontotemporal dementia. More than 200,000 Australians are currently diagnosed with a neurodegenerative condition, causing a huge socio-economic impact. Unfortunately, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative conditions and current therapies achieve only very modest symptomatic relief. Understanding how brain function progressively declines and neurons eventually die is the main objective of our research program. This is the paramount first step to develop new therapeutic approaches and drugs.

 

Team

Grants & Funding

Ittner. ARC Discovery Project – Novel functions of tau (2013 – 2015)

Ittner. Alzheimer’s Association US, New Investigator Research Grant (NIRG) – The role of tau in excitotoxicity in Alzheimer’s disease (2012 – 2014)

Halliday, Götz, Ittner, Kril, Hodges, Kiernan. Frontotemporal dementia and motor neurodegenerative syndromes – NHMRC Program Grant (2013 – 2017)

Ittner, Sutherland. Spreading of tau pathology – NHMRC Project Grant (2012 – 2014)

Cooper, Ittner, Karl. Validation of ATP13a2/PARK9 as a Target to Reduce Neurodegeneration Induced by Alpha-Synuclein – Michael J Fox, Target validation program (2013 – 2014)

Donations

To suuport our research please contact Prof Ittner (l.ittner@unsw.edu.au ) directly.

Students

Sook Wern Chua, PhD Student, sook.chua@unsw.edu.au

Stefania Ippati, PhD Student, stefania.ippati@live.it

Lisa Suh, PhD Student, ssuh9642@uni.sydney.edu.au

Alexander Volkerling, Honours Student, a.volkerling@student.unsw.edu.au

Yasmin Ainkaran, Honours Student, yain7758@uni.sydney.edu.au