Prof Andrew Hill
La Trobe Institute for Molecular Science
La Trobe University
Research ActivitiesNeurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease have an increasing prevalence amongst our ageing population.Recent estimates suggest the numbers of Australians suffering from dementia is set to double to 500,000 individuals by the year 2030. Many of these diseases are associated with the misfolding of certain proteins into aberrant forms that are found in the brain tissues of individuals with these diseases. The Hill lab uses a combination of Biochemistry, Molecular and Cell Biology to investigate these diseases. We are interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms by which these proteins exert their neurodegenerative properties and in the case of prion proteins, gain their infectious properties.Our lab is also interested in extracellular vesicles such as exosomes and microvesicles as vehicles for the transfer of misfolded proteins between cells. We also investigate the RNA content of these vesicles using next generation sequencing and have used this to develop potential diagnostics for prion and Alzheimer’s diseases.
Techniques/ExpertiseWe have expertise in various molecular biology techniques (eg, cloning, PCR, real time quantitative PCR, site‐directed mutagenesis, next generation sequencing), cell biology (cell culture, immunofluorescent staining, live cell imaging, RNAi, transfection, lentivirus production, isolation of primary neuronal cells, prion infection assays), protein chemistry (recombinant protein expression and purification, protein gels, western immunoblotting, biophysical techniques), and general biochemical assays. We have expertise in the isolation and deep sequencing of RNA isolated from exosomes using both the next generation sequencing platforms. We also use cryo-electron microscopy to image exosomes and microvesicles.
CollaborationsA/Prof Roberto Cappai and A/Prof Kevin Barnham (Pathology/Bio21)
A/Prof Steve Collins and Dr Vicki Lawson (Pathology)
We also have collaborations with laboratories in Sydney, Melbourne, France, Brazil, and the UK.
Disease ModelsMouse models of prion disease (wild-type and transgenic)
Genetically Modified OrganismsPrion protein knockout and overexpressing mice
Other Lab MembersMs Robyn Sharples firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr Mark Khey
Mr Andrew Foers
Ms Wenting Zhao
Ms Cathryn Ugalde
Dr Lesley Cheng
Mr Mitch Shambrook
Mr Amirmohammed Nasiri Kenari