We’re fighting motor neurone disease

11 January 2021

For many years, the Maclean family and generous donors like you have supported motor neurone disease (MND) research at UQ’s Queensland Brain Institute (QBI) – a momentum that showed no signs of slowing in 2020.

The Ross Maclean Senior Research Fellowship was established in 2004 in memory of Ross Maclean, who died in 2005 after being diagnosed with MND. 

The current fellow – Dr Adam Walker – is researching the protein TDP-43, which might hold the secrets to understanding MND. 

In 2020, with the support of the fellowship and other gifts, the Walker lab applied cutting-edge genetic engineering techniques and identified hundreds of new genes potentially involved in triggering MND.

The team is now using this information to narrow down which genes could be targeted for therapies.

Dr Walker says that without the generosity of donors, the ‘risky’ experiments – which are difficult to gain traditional grant funding for but have provided a treasure trove of new information about MND – would not have been possible. 

“Being the Ross Maclean Fellow is an honour and a highlight of my career, and it is a real privilege to have the support of the Maclean family and everyone who has donated and volunteered to raise funds for this research,” Dr Walker said. 

“I hope that the work we do helps to realise the vision that Ross had of a world without MND.”

Thank you for bringing us closer to finding solutions to the world’s greatest health challenges.