Marlene Schmidt – Ubiquitin Signalling division

24/05/2024 3:00 pm - 24/05/2024 4:00 pm
Davis Auditorium

WEHI PhD Completion Seminar hosted by Associate Professor Grant Dewson

Marlene Schmidt

PhD Student – Dewson Laboratory, Ubiquitin Signalling division – Healthy Development & Ageing Theme, WEHI


Blocking dopaminergic neuron death in Parkinson’s disease



Davis Auditorium

Join via SLIDO enter code #WEHIphdcompletion

Including Q&A session

Followed by refreshments in Tapestry Lounge




Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the fastest-growing neurodegenerative disorder. There are 10 million people currently living with PD worldwide and this number is predicted to double by 2040. PD is characterised by the progressive loss of dopaminergic (DA) neurons in the midbrain leading to the classical motor symptoms. Importantly, there are still no disease-modifying therapies that block neurodegeneration in PD. To advance in the development of such neuroprotective therapies, we first need to understand how and why DA neurons die in PD.


During her PhD, Marlene has explored the vulnerabilities of human DA neurons and has identified the potential Achilles heel that may underpin their selective loss in PD. Using varied approaches including small molecule inhibition and PROTAC-mediated degradation, Marlene has identified opportunities to rescue these vulnerabilities.


We are still lacking mouse models for PD that properly recapitulate the human disease. Thus, Marlene examined the potential exploitation of this newly discovered key player in DA neuron survival to develop an in vivo model of PD. Marlene established a suite of tests to assess PD motor phenotypes in these mice during aging. Moreover, PD pathology was assessed by whole-brain imaging and numeration of DA neurons.



All welcome!

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