• 2105 Citations
  • 26 h-Index
20022021
If you made any changes in Pure these will be visible here soon.

Personal profile

Biography

  1. I am the Professor of Neurobiology and Neurochemistry, and Associate Dean (Research) in the Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences .  My main areas of research interest involve a multi-disciplinary approach to understanding the basic biochemical, molecular and cellular mechanisms that underpin how neurons respond to injury or neurodegenerative disease, and how non-neuronal cells (glia) are involved in modulating this process.   I completed my PhD in molecular biology in 2003, and have since led a research team at the University of Tasmania (2004-2013) and at Macquarie University since 2013.

Research interests

Current research programs: My research program has three main themes that focus upon understanding the moleclar origins of MND.

1) understanding the role of aggregated neurotoxic proteins in mediating intercellular interactions between neurons and glia in MND and dementia.  One of our particular interests is in understanding the protective role of microglial phagocytosis in neurodegeneration, and how this process may be impaired in MND.  We use elegant live-imaging confocal microscopy techniques to visualise this process in real-time in living organisms.

microglial phagocytosis

Figure: In vivo time-lapse imaging in the spinal cord to visualise the microglia (red) response to dying neuron (all neurons are green), leading to phagocytosis of the neuronal debris (yellow). [Morsch et al, Front Cell Neurosci, 2015]

 

2) biochemical and proteomic characterisation of molecular origins and pathogenesis of MND and dementia. We have developed a series of new molecular tools to visualise protein aggregation in living cells/animals, and proteomic techniques to isolate and understand the impact of disease-linked protein aggregates upon cellular health. We are also using proteomic profiling approaches to identify protein biomarkers in patient blood that can provide diagnostic and prognostic insight in MND and dementia.  Our discoveries underpin several recent provisional patent applications (2016/17) that describe potential clinical and theraeutic applications of our research.

3) nanoparticle delivery systems for drug delivery in MND and dementia. we have focussed upon development of novel nanoparticle delivery systems that can efficiently carry drug cargoes into the brain and spinal cord.  This seeks to overcome some of the major hurdles associated with treating brain diseases - by improving the stability of therapeutic drugs and providing an ability to introduce cell-specific targeting of drugs.

 

Previous research achievements:  From 2004‐2013, my research program based at the University of Tasmania was focused upon a multi‐disciplinary approach to understanding the basic biochemical, molecular and cellular mechanisms that underpin how neurons respond to injury or disease, and how non‐ neuronal cells (glia) are involved in modulating this process. This research has focused upon metallothioneins (MTs), a highly unusual family of metal‐binding proteins whose precise physiological functions remain unclear. My research team has been at the international forefront in identifying precise links between protein structure, the unique biochemical properties that this structure confers, and the biological functions of MTs. Two of the major achievements of this research program have been:

  • Revealing that extracellular MTs have neurotrophic activities, and play an important role in astrocyte‐neuron responses to injury.  This work reveals that MTs (and MT-based peptides) have potential neuroprotective and neuroregenerative activities.

  • Exploring the ability of MT to de‐toxify neurotoxic, metal‐bound and aggregated forms of beta‐amyloid.  This work reveals the therapeutic potential of MTs (and MT-based peptides) against amyloid-toxicity in Alzheimer's disease.

These discoveries underpin a family of patents that have progressed to full international status (National Phase), and have subsequently been licensed to a biotech company for further therapeutic and commercial development.

 

 

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

  • 29 Similar Profiles
Metallothionein Medicine & Life Sciences
Neurons Medicine & Life Sciences
Astrocytes Medicine & Life Sciences
Amyloid Medicine & Life Sciences
Wounds and Injuries Medicine & Life Sciences
Alzheimer Disease Medicine & Life Sciences
Motor Neurons Medicine & Life Sciences
Microglia Medicine & Life Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2012 2021

Research Output 2002 2019

Albumin uptake and distribution in the zebrafish liver as observed via correlative imaging

Cheng, D., Morsch, M., Shami, G. J., Chung, R. S. & Braet, F., 1 Jan 2019, In : Experimental Cell Research. 374, 1, p. 162-171 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Zebrafish
Albumins
Liver
Rodentia
Multimodal Imaging

Alterations in serum kynurenine pathway metabolites in individuals with high neocortical amyloid-β load: a pilot study

Chatterjee, P., Goozee, K., Lim, C. K., James, I., Shen, K., Jacobs, K. R., Sohrabi, H. R., Shah, T., Asih, P. R., Dave, P., ManYan, C., Taddei, K., Lovejoy, D. B., Chung, R., Guillemin, G. J. & Martins, R. N., 1 Dec 2018, In : Scientific Reports. 8, 1, p. 1-10 10 p., 8008.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access
File
Kynurenine
Amyloid
Serum
Alzheimer Disease
Social Adjustment

Association of plasma neurofilament light chain with neocortical amyloid-β load and cognitive performance in cognitively normal elderly participants

Chatterjee, P., Goozee, K., Sohrabi, H. R., Shen, K., Shah, T., Asih, P. R., Dave, P., Manyan, C., Taddei, K., Chung, R., Zetterberg, H., Blennow, K. & Martins, R. N., 1 Jan 2018, In : Journal of Alzheimer's Disease. 63, 2, p. 479-487 9 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Intermediate Filaments
Amyloid
Light
Alzheimer Disease
Cerebrospinal Fluid

Aurora kinase B regulates axonal outgrowth and regeneration in the spinal motor neurons of developing zebrafish

Gwee, S. S. L., Radford, R. A. W., Chow, S., Syal, M. D., Morsch, M., Formella, I., Lee, A., Don, E. K., Badrock, A. P., Cole, N. J., West, A. K., Cheung, S. N. S. & Chung, R. S., Dec 2018, In : Cellular and molecular life sciences. 75, 23, p. 4269-4285 17 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Aurora Kinase B
Motor Neurons
Zebrafish
Regeneration
Neurons

Bexarotene modulates Retinoid-X-receptor expression and is protective against neurotoxic endoplasmic reticulum stress response and apoptotic pathway activation

Dheer, Y., Chitranshi, N., Gupta, V., Abbasi, M., Mirzaei, M., You, Y., Chung, R., Graham, S. L. & Gupta, V., Dec 2018, In : Molecular Neurobiology. 55, 12, p. 9043-9056 14 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Retinoid X Receptors
Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress
Retinoid X Receptor gamma
Retinoid X Receptor beta
Brain