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Professor George Mellick
September 10 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 am
Queensland Parkinson’s Project: From the Community to the Laboratory and Back Again.
Over 100,000 Australians live with a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease costing Australia more than $10 Billion annually. Yet we still cannot prevent, slow or cure the disease. The Clinical Neurosciences Team at GRIDD has been working to change these telling statistics by studying the underlying cause of the disease with a view develop better tools to diagnose and treat Parkinson’s disease. The Queensland Parkinson’s Project (QPP), hosted at the Griffith Institute for Drug Discovery (GRIDD), is a research hub that has enlisted over 4500 study participants since 2006 who have agreed to participate in research into Parkinson’s and related disorders. This presentation will cover some recent research findings from the Queensland Parkinson’s Project and discuss how the integration of information from epidemiology, genetics, molecular and cell biology provides new avenues to think about degenerative brain diseases and make progress towards a cure.
George originally studied Honours Maths and Physics as an undergraduate before graduating with joint majors in Biochemistry and Chemistry. His Honours project was in the area of Natural Products Bioinorganic Chemistry at the University of Queensland. He won a Lion’s Postgraduate Scholarship as a PhD candidate in the Field of Medicine (Pharmacology and Toxicology) from UQ, based at the Princess Alexandra Hospital. Following postdoctoral research at the Karolinska Institute, Sweden (Centre for Genomics and Bioinformatics) and the University of Queensland, he was appointed Lecturer in the School of Medicine (University of Queensland) in 2004. He joined Griffith University as a Next Phase Appointment in 2006 and became Deputy Director of the Eskitis Institute for Drug Discovery (now GRIDD) in 2013. George was promoted to Professor in 2014. In February 2018, George was appointed as “Head of School” to the newly established Griffith School of Environment and Science.
George is an interdisciplinary scientist who works on all aspects of neurodegenerative disease with an emphasis on Parkinson’s disease. He has an extensive research track record of grants, publications and disciplinary engagement, is an active teacher of undergraduates and postgraduates and is a previous recipient of National Teaching Award. In addition, George has, for many years, been an advocate for people affected by Parkinson’s disease. He is currently the President of Parkinson’s Queensland and Vice-President of Parkinson’s Australia, the peak State and National not-for-profit advocacy groups supporting the Parkinson’s community.