Nanthini JayabalanTitle: Dysregulation of β-Glucocerebrosidase-1 (GBA1) signalling in immune cells drives inflammasome activation in Parkinson’s disease

Speaker: Dr Nanthini Jayabalan

Bio: Nanthini completed her PhD in Cellular and Molecular Biology in the Exosomes Biology Lab at the University of Queensland in 2020. She is currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Translational Neuroscience Group where her focus in on understanding the key pathological mechanisms which drive the onset and progression of neurodegenerative disorders, Parkinson’s disease (PD) and to test novel therapeutic strategies that can be translated towards clinical trials.

Overview: Parkinson's disease (PD) pathology is characterised by a progressive loss of dopaminergic neurons and the accumulation of α-synuclein aggregates that is accompanied by ongoing inflammation and persistent inflammasome activation. Glucocerebrosidase 1 (GBA1), the gene encoding the lysosomal enzyme glucoslyceramidase (GCase), has been identified as one of the most important genetic risk for the development of PD. Importantly, dysregulation and loss GCase dysfunction is also common in sporadic PD patients, making it an important target for disease modification in PD. Our current understanding of the functional role of GCase in PD has been informed primarily through studies in neurons. We recently uncovered that GBA1 is highly expressed in microglial cells which drive neuroinflammation in the CNS. We sought to define the role of GBA1 dysregulation in the immune system in PD, using models of synuclein pathology and dopaminergic degeneration.


Malcolm LimTitle: Theranostic approach for breast cancer brain metastasis therapy

Speaker: Dr Malcolm Lim

Bio: Malcolm completed his PhD in molecular biology in June 2022 and is an ECR at Prof Sunil Lakhani’s lab. His focus is on biology underlying brain metastases, identification of therapeutic targets and devising novel approaches to improve outcomes for breast cancer brain metastasis. Prior to his academic career, Malcolm was a medical laboratory scientist in a diagnostic histopathology laboratory.

Overview: Brain metastases (BM) develop frequently in patients with breast cancer. Despite complex multidisciplinary care, brain tumour often recurs, and the overall survival is short. The therapeutic challenge is to deliver chemotherapy effective in halting progression without the unsafe adverse toxicities that reduce quality of life.

Collaborating with the Kristofer Thurecht group (Centre for Advanced Imaging), I investigated the therapeutic potential of using hyperbranched polymer for targeted delivery of doxorubicin in brain metastasis. In this talk, I will provide an overview of the study outcomes and future direction.

About CCR Seminars

The UQ Centre of Clinical Research Seminars (CCR) are held fortnightly on Wednesdays from 12pm - 1pm (except during school holidays) currently on Zoom. The series features topics in multiple fields of research, presented by invited international, interstate and local researchers.

Venue

UQCCR Auditorium and Zoom https://uqz.zoom.us/j/87198801358