PhD Scholarship: How are the neurons damaged in Sanfilippo and how can it be prevented?
The Sanfilippo Children’s Foundation is proud to be providing a supplementary scholarship to Andrew Shoubridge who is undertaking a PhD project in Sanfilippo at South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI).
The exact cause of cognitive decline in children with Sanfilippo is not well understood, and loss of cells in the brain does not occur (in the earlier disease stages at least) to any great degree. Therefore, we are keen to determine whether more subtle changes in neuron structure affects how they function, and whether this causes the appearance of symptoms. This will help us to understand what we need to target with treatment, and when.
Andrew Shoubridge’s PhD studies will be carried out under the guidance of Dr Kim Hemsley at the Lysosomal Diseases Research Unit at SAHMRI. He will use the naturally-occurring mouse model of Sanfilippo type A - the neurons of the mice will be ‘highlighted’ with a fluorescent protein so that their intricate structure and function can be evaluated. He will also determine whether changes in neuron structure are able to be treated.