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Personal profile


Dr. Laird studies the pathogenesis of movement disorders with a particular focus on identifying and testing potential disease treatments. Her group has been successful at producing and characterising the world’s first zebrafish model of spinocerebellar ataxia type-3 (also known as Machado Joseph Disease, MJD). They are currently testing the effect of various drugs on these zebrafish with the aim of identifying a treatment for the disease.

Dr. Laird's full CV, with all grants and activities, can be accessed here.

Research interests

  • Developing transgenic zebrafish models of neurodegenerative diseases such as spinocerebellar ataxia-3 and motor neuron disease 
  • Role of proteolytic cleavage in the pathogenesis of spinocerebellar ataxia-3 
  • Potential of autophagy induction for the treatment of spinocerebellar ataxia-3 
  • Role of glutamate induced excitotoxicity in the pathogenesis of spinocerebellar ataxia-3

External positions

Senior Research Scientist, ANZAC Research Institute

Jan 2010Feb 2016

Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Leuven

May 2008Oct 2010

Casual Admin/Research Assistant, The University of New South Wales

Jan 2002Jan 2007


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