Northcott Neuroscience Laboratory

About the Laboratory

The Northcott Neuroscience Laboratory, headed by Professor Garth Nicholson is internationally renowned in the field of molecular genetics of human hereditary neuropathies. The group has continued to make important contributions to finding gene mutations causing neurodegeneration of peripheral nerve and motor neurons. The identification and characterisation of these genes is furthering our understanding of the mechanisms causing degenerative nerve disease.

Our overall research aims to discover new genes and to understand the underlying pathogenic biology causing inherited peripheral neuropathies such as CMT. Our research has an exemplary international record in the discovery of CMT genes and continues to identify genes responsible for several neuromuscular disorders. Our group has expertise in genetic linkage studies, bioinformatics, next generation sequencing (NGS) and genome technologies.

Our understanding of the genetics behind CMT will enable us to develop treatments and therapeutic intervention to stop the progression of such neurodegenerative disorders. Our research has contributed to the development and implementation for diagnostic testing and has led to the development of novel diagnostic tests for prenatal genetic diagnosis.

Research Program

Research Highlights
Key Group Publications

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Micrograph of an adult day 1 C. elegans imaged under bright field light (left) and fluorescent light (right). C. elegans are small, round, transparent nematodes. The strain we use expresses a green fluorescent protein in their motor neurons than enables us to visualise their motor neuron cell bodies and axons (shown in green).