Professor Anthony White

Group Leader, Cellular and Molecular Neurodegeneration

QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Herston, QLD


Title: "Understanding and Harnessing Neuro-Immune Interactions to Improve Treatment of Neurodegenerative Diseases"


Despite decades of research, treatments for most neurodegenerative disorders, either do not exist, or are only minimally effective, and this is especially the case for Alzheimer's disease (dementia) and motor neuron disease (MND). There has now been a paradigm shift in neuroscience, with the realization that microglia, the specialized, resident immune cell of the brain, has a central role in many neurological diseases including Alzheimer's disease and MND. Microglia have complex and nuanced roles in the brain, that go well beyond basic inflammation, and includes direct homeostatic interactions with neurons and other brain cells. Hence, a greater understanding of this essential neuro-immune partnership is urgently needed, and will provide great potential for new therapeutic options. Our research program is applying new patient-derived brain cell models to understand the complex interplay between microglia and other key brain cell-types in Alzheimer's dementia and MND. This includes 2D and 3D culture platforms of patient microglia, neurons, blood-brain barrier cells (endothelial cells, astrocytes, and pericytes) and immuno-competent brain organoids to explore microglia-neural cell relationships. We are using these platforms to investigate neuro-immune changes in the central nervous system during disease, and to better understand how microglia-neural cell interactions affect therapeutic drug responses in micro-environments that more closely model the in vivo complexity of the brain. These studies will support major new insights into microglial involvement in neurodegeneration and help generate new treatment options with improved clinical outcome for treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.





About Neuroscience Seminars

Neuroscience seminars at the QBI play a major role in the advancement of neuroscience in the Asia-Pacific region. The primary goal of these seminars is to promote excellence in neuroscience through the exchange of ideas, establishing new collaborations and augmenting partnerships already in place.

Seminars in the QBI Auditorium on Level 7 are held on Wednesdays at 12-1pm, which are sometimes simulcast on Zoom (with approval from the speaker). We also occassionally hold seminars from international speakers via Zoom. The days and times of these seminars will vary depending on the time zone of the speaker. Please see each seminar listed below for details. 


Neuroscience Seminars archive 2005-2018