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 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 as vehicles for transferring 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 neurodegenerative diseases.