The Garvan Institute of Medical Research was founded in 1963 by the Sisters of Charity. Initially a research department of St Vincent's Hospital in Sydney, it is now one of Australia's largest medical research institutions with approximately 650 scientists, students and support staff. The current director is Prof John Mattick.Garvan's research is focused on the major diseases that affect today's society: cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease; as well as eating disorders, and autoimmune and inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and asthma. It specialises in genetic and molecular technologies, and emphasises collaborative research.In 2014 the Institute became one of only three organisations in the world – and the only one outside the United States – able to sequence the human genome at a base cost below $US1,000 each when it purchased the next generation of genome sequencing equipment, which is capable of sequencing 350 genomes a week . Wikipedia.
Barry G.,Garvan Institute of Medical Research
Molecular Psychiatry | Year: 2014
Regulatory RNA is emerging as the major architect of cognitive evolution and innovation in the mammalian brain. While the protein machinery has remained largely constant throughout animal evolution, the non protein-coding transcriptome has expanded considerably to provide essential and widespread cellular regulation, partly through directing generic protein function. Both long (long non-coding RNA) and small non-coding RNAs (for example, microRNA) have been demonstrated to be essential for brain development and higher cognitive abilities, and to be involved in psychiatric disease. Long non-coding RNAs, highly expressed in the brain and expanded in mammalian genomes, provide tissue- and activity-specific epigenetic and transcriptional regulation, partly through functional control of evolutionary conserved effector small RNA activity. However, increased cognitive sophistication has likely introduced concomitant psychiatric vulnerabilities, predisposing to conditions such as autism and schizophrenia, and cooperation between regulatory and effector RNAs may underlie neural complexity and concomitant fragility in the human brain. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited. Source
Vissel B.,Garvan Institute of Medical Research
Acta neuropathologica communications | Year: 2014
The amyloid hypothesis has driven drug development strategies for Alzheimer's disease for over 20 years. We review why accumulation of amyloid-beta (Aβ) oligomers is generally considered causal for synaptic loss and neurodegeneration in AD. We elaborate on and update arguments for and against the amyloid hypothesis with new data and interpretations, and consider why the amyloid hypothesis may be failing therapeutically. We note several unresolved issues in the field including the presence of Aβ deposition in cognitively normal individuals, the weak correlation between plaque load and cognition, questions regarding the biochemical nature, presence and role of Aβ oligomeric assemblies in vivo, the bias of pre-clinical AD models toward the amyloid hypothesis and the poorly explained pathological heterogeneity and comorbidities associated with AD. We also illustrate how extensive data cited in support of the amyloid hypothesis, including genetic links to disease, can be interpreted independently of a role for Aβ in AD. We conclude it is essential to expand our view of pathogenesis beyond Aβ and tau pathology and suggest several future directions for AD research, which we argue will be critical to understanding AD pathogenesis. Source
Berglund L.J.,Garvan Institute of Medical Research
Blood | Year: 2013
B-cell responses are guided by the integration of signals through the B-cell receptor (BCR), CD40, and cytokine receptors. The common γ chain (γc)-binding cytokine interleukin (IL)-21 drives humoral immune responses via STAT3-dependent induction of transcription factors required for plasma cell generation. We investigated additional mechanisms by which IL-21/STAT3 signaling modulates human B-cell responses by studying patients with STAT3 mutations. IL-21 strongly induced CD25 (IL-2Rα) in normal, but not STAT3-deficient, CD40L-stimulated naïve B cells. Chromatin immunoprecipitation confirmed IL2RA as a direct target of STAT3. IL-21-induced CD25 expression was also impaired on B cells from patients with IL2RG or IL21R mutations, confirming a requirement for intact IL-21R signaling in this process. IL-2 increased plasmablast generation and immunoglobulin secretion from normal, but not CD25-deficient, naïve B cells stimulated with CD40L/IL-21. IL-2 and IL-21 were produced by T follicular helper cells, and neutralizing both cytokines abolished the B-cell helper capacity of these cells. Our results demonstrate that IL-21, via STAT3, sensitizes B cells to the stimulatory effects of IL-2. Thus, IL-2 may play an adjunctive role in IL-21-induced B-cell differentiation. Lack of this secondary effect of IL-21 may amplify the humoral immunodeficiency in patients with mutations in STAT3, IL2RG, or IL21R due to impaired responsiveness to IL-21. Source
Garvan Institute of Medical Research | Date: 2015-07-10
The present invention provides a method for increasing metabolism and/or energy expenditure in a subject, e.g., to treat or prevent obesity and/or a related condition and/or to reduce adiposity, the method comprising increasing the level and/or activity of Hypoxia Induced Factor 1 (HIF-1) in a cell, tissue or organ of the subject, thereby increasing metabolism in the subject. The present invention also provides a method for increasing metabolism in a subject, the method comprising administering an iron chelating agent to the subject, thereby increasing metabolism in the subject.
Garvan Institute of Medical Research | Date: 2013-08-02
The present invention relates to a method for treating a subject having or at risk of a diabetes-related disorder. In a preferred embodiment, the method involves increasing the level or activity of Hypoxia Induced Factor 1 (HIF-1) in pancreatic--cells or insulin-sensitive tissues in the subject by administering to the subject an inhibitor of a protein that decreases the level or activity of HIF-1. The present invention also relates to a method of transplanting pancreatic islet cells in a subject.