MND Scotland Award for Professor Tom Gillingwater

MND Scotland Award for Professor Tom Gillingwater

 

Monday, 26 June, 2017

Professor Tom GIllingwater (Centre for Integrative Physiology, and Euan MacDonald Centre for MND Research) has been awarded a grant from MND (Motor Neurone Disease) Scotland for the project titled: 'Identifying and targeting neuroprotective pathways in motor neurons'. This project will use a combination of different MND models to test whether modifying ‘energy-related genes’ will help protect motor neurones from deteriorating in SMA (spinal muscular atrophy) and ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). 

The project has three specific aims that will 1) establish whether targeting one ‘key’ energy-related gene (known as PGK1) with a known and approved drug has therapeutic benefits in model of SMA; 2) identify other potential ‘key’ energy related genes that could be therapeutically targeted to prevent motor neurones against MND; and 3) establish whether the energy-related genes researchers have found to protect motor neurones in SMA are also capable of protecting motor neurons in models of two distinct forms of ALS (caused by defects in genes for C9orf72 and TDP-43). Professor Tom Gillingwater said: "The range of treatment options available to patients with MND remains small. It is critical that we continue efforts to identify new therapeutic targets, and develop appropriate drugs and treatments for this devastating condition. We are, therefore, massively grateful to MND Scotland and their supporters for funding this exciting and innovative project, that we have designed to specifically generate therapy options for patients with MND.”