Given three minutes to win it
SOME of the state’s brightest scientific minds faced a tough challenge at the WA Neuroscience Research Institute last week.
Students and senior researchers were asked to present years of complex neurological research in just a few minutes, in a concept known as the ‘3-minute thesis’.
The student winner of the competition was Loren Price who spoke about her research into spinal muscular atrophy (SMA).
“It’s the leading cause of genetic death in children under the age of two, we are looking at manipulating the expression of a particular gene that is mutated in SMA patients,” Ms Price said.
“My analogy was if you imagine a row of bricks being a row of single genes and a imagine a crack in the brick, which causes it to fall out of place I make compounds to reinforce that brick.”
The spinal disorder affects the control of muscle movement of about 1 in 6000 to 10,000 babies born in Australia.
Ms Price said she was hopeful that one day her research would go to clinical trials and improve quality of life for those with the disease. “We have done some animal studies on mice and that has improved survival quite well,” she said.
Ms Price started as a work experience student at the institute and is now three years into her PhD studies.
UWA PhD student Loren Price was the student winner of the WA Neuroscience Research Institute’s competition.