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Nicholas Cole

Research Group Leader

Neurodegenerative Diseases Research Centre, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences

Contact Details

Tel: (02) 9850 2740


2 Technology Place, Macquarie University

B.Sc. University of Liverpool. PhD. St Andrews University, UK. First post-doctorate, Dundee University. Second post-doctorate, The Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, Sydney. Lectureship, The University of Sydney. Senior Lectureship, Macquarie University, Sydney.


B.Sc. Hons. PhD

Research Interest

  • Motor Neurone Disease (MND)/Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
  • Frontotemporal dementia (FTD)
  • Neurodegenerative Disease
  • Development
  • Zebrafish

Select Publications

    1. Williams et al. CCNF mutations in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia. The discovery of a novel disease gene that provides a clear molecular link between ALS and FTD. Apr 15;7:11253. doi: 10.1038/ncomms11253 Nature Communications (2016).
    2. Masselink W, Cole NJ, Fenyes F, Berger S, Sonntag C, Wood A, Nguyen PD, Cohen N, Knopf F, Weidinger G, Hall TE, Currie PD. A somitic contribution to the apical ectodermal ridge is essential for fin formation. Jul 28;535(7613):542-6. Nature (2016).
    3. Don EK, Formella I, Badrock AP, Hall TE, Morsch M, Hortle E, Hogan A, Chow S, Gwee SSL, Stoddart JJ, Nicholson G, Chung R,Cole NJ. A Tol2 Gateway compatible toolbox for the study of the nervous system and neurodegenerative disease. ZebrafishSept 15 (2016).
    4. Morsch M, Radford R, Don EK, Lee A, Hortle E,Cole NJ, Chung RS Triggering cell stress and death using conventional UV laser confocal microscopy.J Vis Exp, (2016) 
    5. Radford, R. Morsch M, Rayner S, Cole N, Pountne D and Chung R.. The established and emerging roles of astrocytes and microglia in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Frontotemporal Dementia.  2015 Oct 27;9:414 Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience (2015).
    6. Morsch, M., Radford, R., Lee, A., Don, E.K., Badrock, A.P., Hall, T.E., Cole, N.J., and Chung, R. (2015). In vivo characterization of microglial engulfment of dying neurons in the zebrafish spinal cord. Frontiers in cellular neuroscience 9, 321
    7. Nguyen, P.D., Hollway, G.E., Sonntag, C., Miles, L.B., Hall, T.E., Berger, S., Fernandez, K.J., Gurevich, D.B., Cole, N.J., Alaei, S., et al. (2014). Haematopoietic stem cell induction by somite-derived endothelial cells controlled by meox1. Nature 512, 314-318.
    8. Acosta, J.R., Goldsbury, C., Winnick, C., Badrock, Cole, N.J, et al. (2014). Mutant human FUS is ubiquitously mislocalized and generates persistent stress granules in primary cultured transgenic zebrafish cells. Plos One
    Accepted manuscripts in press

    Maria-Cristina Keightley et al,  The Pu.1 target gene Zbtb11 regulates neutrophil development through its integrase-like HHCC zinc finger.Nature Communications(accepted Jan 2017)

    Shi. BY, Chen J, Morsch M, Lee A, Cole NJ et al, Multifunctional Hybrid Nanoparticles for Traceable Drug Delivery and Intracellular Microenvironment Controlled Multistage Drug Release in Neurons. Small(accepted Feb 2017)

    Zhang Y, Nguyen DT, Olzomer EM, Poon GP, Cole NJ et al, Rescue of Pink1 deficiency by stress-dependent activation of autophagy.Cell Chemical Biology(accepted Feb 2017)

Grant Success

  • Cure for MND Foundation Research Grant . Elucidating the Pathogenesis of Sporadic Motor Neurone Disease Using Zebrafish Models Motor Neurone Disease Research Institute of Australia,2015
  • Peter Stearne Grant for Familial MND Research. Modelling the ALS-linked C9ORF72 Hexanucleotide Repeat Expansion in Zebrafish. Motorneurone Disease Research Institute of Australia, 2014
  • Dementia research Teams Grant (NHMRC), 2015-2020 $6,377,279. Developing insight into the molecular origins of familial and sporadic frontotemporal dementia. APP1095215.
  • Project Grant NHMRC 2015-2018 $676,000. Disruption to intracellular trafficking as a central pathogenic mechanism in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). APP1086887
  • ARC Project Grant. 2014-2017 $383,000 Visualising neuron-glia interactions in the injured central nervous system. DP140103233
  • Project Grant NHMRC 2012-2015, $435,000 Investigating the pathogenesis of Motor Neurone Disease using zebrafish models. APP1034816
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