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Study & Careers

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Why does aging impair optic nerve recovery from injury?

Research Unit: Glaucoma
Primary Supervisor: Prof Jonathan Crowston
Tel: +613 9929 8378 / Email: crowston@unimelb.edu.au

Glaucoma and other neurodegenerative conditions of the CNS increase with increasing age. The reasons for this are now well understood.

We have developed an optic nerve stress test in experimental mice and demonstrated a clear association between advancing age and impaired recovery after injury. This project will help investigate the key mechanisms that underly this impairment. In particular we are interested in the role of mitochondrial impairment as a major player. Recent data from our lab has shown that diet restriction, exercise and high fat diets can all significantly impact optic nerve recovery and alter age-related vulnerably of the optic nerve to injury. These well established models together with established transgenic mouse lines and sophisticated mitochondrial respiration assays will form the core of this project.

Project outcome: This project will generate fundamental data on the impact of ageing on the ability of a neurone to recovery after injury. The PhD candidate will gain excellent experience in experimental procedures and molecular techniques. Our laboratory has a highly talented group of scientists who work in a stimulating and productive environment.

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