London scientist joins MND research team
New research into how drugs can alter the development of motor neurone disease is under way in Auckland.
The drug discovery project at the University of Auckland’s Centre for Brain Research, follows the arrival of Dr Emma Scotter from King’s College London to take up the Aotearoa PostDoctoral Fellowship there.
Scotter, along with Professor Mike Dragunow and Professor Margaret Brimble, is looking at 4000 different drugs to see if any of the compounds can influence, or change, the development of motor neurone disease in patient brain cells.
Motor neurone disease (MND) is a neurodegenerative disease in which the nerve cells controlling the muscles that enable us to move, speak, swallow and breathe slowly die.
‘‘If we’re going to make a difference to people’s lives with MND, we need research like this to better understand the factors that cause it and ultimately find a cure,’’ MND association president Beth Watson says.
‘‘It’s a really exciting project and we’re lucky to have the likes of Dr Scotter working on MND research in New Zealand.’’
There are around 300 people in New Zealand with the fatal disease.
‘‘This research project takes New Zealand’s MND research to an exciting new phase,’’ Scotter says.