Dr Thanuja Dharmadasa from the Brain and Mind Centre, University of Sydney, has been awarded the Susie Harris Travel Fellowship 2017. Thanuja plans to visit the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Oxford, UK, and attend the 28th International Symposium on ALS/MND in Boston to present the findings of her PhD “Motor Neurone Disease: site of origin and patterns of disease spread.” Her trip to the University of Oxford will provide access to new imaging techniques that could help improve early diagnosis, predicting prognosis and tracking progression of MND.
The Susie Harris Travel Fellowship is awarded in memory of the late Susie Harris. It is funded annually by the Susie Harris Memorial Fund. The Fellowship aims to promote overseas activities that will enhance the quality of services, management or research for people living with MND.
University of Queensland PhD student Timothy Tracey has been awarded an MNDRIA PhD Scholarship Top Up Grant. His PhD “Using in vitro human cortical neurons as a model to study neurometabolic defects in MND” involves using human skin cells to make nerve cells that can be studied to see how efficiently they use energy. This model will help Timothy screen compounds that could potentially improve energy use in brain nerve cells. It is thought that poor energy use in brain nerve cells might lead to their death in MND.