Given three min­utes to win it

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Health -

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.

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie d438440

UWA PhD stu­dent Loren Price was the stu­dent win­ner of the WA Neu­ro­science Re­search In­sti­tute’s com­pe­ti­tion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.