Research Areas

Neurogenetics

NMHI brings together research groups and faculty members with diverse expertise in genetics of neurological disease and the molecular underpinnings of brain function. These groups integrate approaches such as human genetics, molecular analysis of neurons and glia, and discovery of novel genes required for neuron function and brain health.

Combining our molecular analyses and interventions with measurement of neuron function through electrophysiology and behaviour, NMHI researchers are gaining a deeper understanding of neural function in healthy and diseased brains. Areas of research span CNS & PNS development, synaptic plasticity, cell biology of neurons and neurodegenerative disease.

Extensive use of laboratory models informs various questions. Approaches used include laboratory models to understand degeneration and repair of the nervous system and addressing new hypotheses gained from human genetics by engineering laboratory models.

Measuring the changes in transcript and protein abundance during disease development reveals genetic pathways to inform how neurodegenerations progress and development proceeds. Extensive facilities and collaborations allow genetic modifications to be engineered, complemented by expertise in electrophysiology and behavioural assessment of the effects of genetic interventions.

Techniques used include:

  • RNAi
  • Linkage analysis and forward genetics
  • Human genetics to identify new genes involved in proper brain development and neurodegeneration
  • Confocal microscopy
  • Live cell- and whole-organism- fluorescent imaging
  • Transciptomics and proteomics