The Centre for MND Research is home to Australia’s largest clinical and research program in MND and related disorders (including frontotemporal dementia). We represent a cross-disciplinary ecosystem that includes Australia’s largest MND clinic, together with laboratory research seeking to understand the molecular origins of MND and developing new treatments for evaluation through clinical trials.
In early 2013, the MND research program was developed to form the laboratory research pipeline to link with Professor Dominic Rowe’s MND clinic, which was one of the first clinics that opened when Macquarie University Hospital launched in 2009. We bring together some of Australia’s leading MND experts, each with complementary skillsets, allowing us to collectively build an integrated workflow aimed at producing breakthrough advances in understanding the origins of MND and to develop new treatments.
As of April 2017, the MND research program now hosts more than 70 full-time researchers. The majority of staff are externally funded through successful grants, to further accelerate and enhance our research impact. We have established Australia’s (and one of the world’s) largest longitudinal MND biobank, to which patients and their families generously provide samples (including blood, skin biopsies, urine and hair) during their regular clinic visits.
We have received one of only six NHMRC Dementia Teams Grants ($6.5M from 2016-2020), and our researchers are CIs on eleven current NHMRC Projects and two current ARC Discovery Projects. Over the past three years our researchers have co-authored multiple high-impact publications in Nature, Science, Nature Genetics, Nature Neuroscience and Nature Communications. Importantly, we also lead two Australian-instigated clinical trials for MND, offering hope of better treatments for people living with MND.