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Neuronal Injury & Repair (NIR) Laboratory

brain ischemia, alzheimer’s disease, neuronal metabolism...

Phosphorylated AMPK (green) in the brain section of a rat
after four weeks recovery from 2 minutes cardiopulmonary arrest

Research Summary

The Neuronal Injury and Repair (NIR) laboratory began its research in 2014 on the effect of brain ischemia on producing the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease. The lab has been moved to a bigger space in 2016, closely collaborating with the Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s laboratory. Working with three systems of animal (rat) model, human brain and cell culture, this lab is focused on understanding the immediate brain strategies to maintain the energy homeostasis, to protect the brain against death due to physiological changes in blood oxygen, or the situations which cause the sudden disruption in energy supply, such as stroke, cardiac arrest and traumatic brain injury. The lab also aims to reveal the underlying cellular mechanisms of response to low levels of oxygen in brain and their involvement in aging and the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disorders.


Distribution of p-AMPK (a, green) within the neurons (NeuN; a, red) from the
brain samples of long-term recovery group (2 min ischaemia followed by 4 weeks).
Accumulation of p-LKB1 is shown in long-term recovery group (b).
Immunofluorescent results, showing the presence of p-GSK-3β at Ser9 (e, red)
with some co-localization with tau (d, green) in the long-term group

Research Projects

Identification of novel isoforms of metabolic-related proteins in the brain and their involvements in energy homeostasis in response to ischaemia, aging and Alzheimer’s pathology

As a tissue with a high metabolic rate, brain is extremely sensitive to any change in its cellular energy balance, which requires constant and rapid monitoring by the intracellular metabolic pathways. NIR lab aims to identify two novel isoforms of metabolic-related proteins, their specific roles in brain metabolism, and their involvements in brain aging as well as neuro-pathological conditions. The results will reveal the underlying mechanisms of the most rapid O2 sensor of the brain by identifying the structure and function of them.

Selected Publications

Majd S, Power JH, Grantham HJ (2015) Neuronal response in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease: the effect of toxic proteins on intracellular pathways. BMC Neuroscience, 16:69


Majd S, Chegini F, Chataway TK, Zhou X and Gai W (2013) Reciprocal Induction Between a-synuclein and b-amyloid in Adult Rat Neurons. Neurotoxicity Research, 23(1):69-78


Dawson S, King L and Grantham H (2013) Review article: Improving the hospital clinical handover between paramedics and emergency department staff in the deteriorating patient. Emergency Medicine Australasia, 25(5):393-405


Grantham H and Narendranathan R (2012) Basic and advanced cardiac life support - what's new? Australian Family Physician, 41(6):386-390


Robinson K, Lockwood C and Grantham H (2012) First attempt success using intraosseous (IO) as an alternative to intravenous (IV) vascular access in Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest (OHCA): a Systematic Review. JBI Library Systematic Review, 10(56)


Majd S, Smardencas A, Parish CL and Drago J (2011) Development of an In Vitro Model to Evaluate the Regenerative Capacity of Adult Brain-Derived Tyrosine Hydroxylase- Expressing Dopaminergic Neurons. Neurochemical Research, 36:967-977


Wang Y, Valadares D, Sun A, Majd S, Wang X, Zhong JH, Liu X, et al. (2010) Effects of proNGF on neuronal viability, neurite growth and amyloid-beta metabolism. Neurotoxicity Research, 17(3):257-267


Majd S, Zarifkar A, Rastegar K, Takhshid MA (2008) Different fibrillar Abeta 1-42 concentrations induce adult hippocampal neurons to reenter various phases of the cell cycle. Brain Research, 1218:224-9


Majd S, Rastegar K, Zarifkar A, Takhshid MA (2007) Fibrillar beta-amyloid (Abeta) (1-42) elevates extracellular Abeta in cultured hippocampal neurons of adult rats. Brain Research, 1185:321-7



  • Shohreh Majd, BSc(Hons), MSC, PhD

  • Hugh Grantham, MBBS, FRACGP

    John Power, PhD

  • Tim Rayner, BSc(Hons), PhD

Support Staff

  • Kathryn Dansie, Research Assistant

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