The Jack Brockhoff Foundation grants for young researchers

The Florey thanks The Jack Brockhoff Foundation for its support of two of our young researchers, Dr Erin Campbell and Dr Rachel McQuade.

Both received grants acknowledging the originality of their work and their potential to impact on human health. Erin is studying Alcohol use disorder and is trying to find a way to prevent relapse for those who have tried to quit. Her latest publication describes her search for a pharmacological solution.

Brockhoff Foundation 2018 winners Dr Erin Campbell and Dr Rachel McQuade

Dr Rachel McQuade is hoping to improve the lives of people living with Parkinson’s disease. Some 10 million people worldwide are affected by this neurodegenerative condition. Few realise that Parkinson’s affects the gut and this, in turn, affects the absorption of medications. Gut symptoms in Parkinson’s disease patients can be detected up to 20 years prior to diagnosis, and it has been suggested that nerves in the gut may serve as a channel to the brain, initiating the spread of Parkinson’s disease.

An existing drug for constipation, Prucalopride, is possibly useful in Parkinson’s disease, acting as both a prokinetic agent to promote gut movement and a neuroprotective agent to halt disease progression. The team, led by Professor John Furness, aims to test Prucalopride in mice with Parkinson’s disease and evaluate it’s therapeutic efficacy.