Barnham Group

“Our group seeks to characterise the molecular events leading to disease pathology, that is, delineate the chemical events associated with degeneration. Characterisation of these events will enable the identification of potential drug targets.” – Associate Professor Kevin Barnham

Research

The Barnham research group's focus is on the neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, prion and Parkinson's disease. Using a range of biophysical and biochemical tehniques, the group seeks to characterise the molecular events leading to disease pathology, that is, delineate the chemical events associated with degeneration. Characterisation of these events will enable the identification of potential drug targets. Current projects include investigating the role that metal ions play in neurodegenerative diseases and elucidating the mechanisms leading to Aβ induced neuronal toxicity. In addition, the laboratory studies the copper binding sites on Aβ and APP as potential targets for therapeutic intervention.

Techniques

Organic chemistry, SELDI-TOF MS, HPLC/PDA, HPLC/fluorescence, 2D LC and Accuspot, LC/MS, NMR, EPR, circular dichroism and fluorescence spectroscopy.

Biography

Kevin Barnham is a NH&MRC Senior Research Fellow within the Pathology Department at The University of Melbourne. Kevin's research interests include studying the effects that co-factors such as metal ions and membranes have on protein folding, with particular applicability to the neurodegenerative diseases.

Since Associate Professor Barnham joined the Pathology Department as a Senior Research Fellow, he has investigated the role that metal ions play in neurodegenerative diseases and elucidated the mechanisms leading to Aβ induced neuronal toxicity. In additon, he has characterized the metal binding sites on Aβ and APP, both sites being potential targets for therapeutic intervention. Kevin is a co-inventor of the "MPAC" technology, the lead compound of which is currently undergoing clinical evaluation.