Lawson laboratory: Neurodegenerative disease caused by prions

Research Overview

Dr Lawson's research interests are focused on understanding the pathogenesis of transmissible diseases. This interests is focused primarily on understanding the nature of disease caused by prions (transmissible proteins) with an expanding interest in other neurodegenerative disease, including Parkinson's Disease.

Prion diseases are transmissible neurodegenerative diseases caused by the misfolding of the normal cellular prion protein. Diseases may be acquired, familial or arise sporadically. This fascinating disease incorporates the disciplines of pathology, microbiology, molecular biology, cell biology, biochemistry and genetics. Recent studies suggest that other neurodegenerative disorders including Parkinson's Disease may have similarly transmissible etiologies.


Connor Daymond, Research Project Student
Laura Ellett, PhD Student
Natalia Fortunado de Miranda, PhD Student
Yong Koo, MBiomed
Shana Portelli, PhD Student


Professor Andrew Hill
Professor Kevin Barnham
Professor Steven Collins
Dr Simon Drew
Dr Cath Haigh
Associate Professor Fred Hollande
Dr Theo Mantamadiotis


  • 2013-2015 NHMRC Project Grant: Non-invasive near-infrared optical imaging of neurodegeneration (CIC)
  • 2013-2015 NHMRC Project Grant:Investigating exosomes in the early diagnosis of prion disease. (CIB)

Research Projects

Faculty Research Themes

Infection and Immunology

School Research Themes

Molecular Mechanisms of Disease

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact Head of Laboratory Associate Professor Vicki Lawson

Department / Centre

Microbiology and Immunology

Unit / Centre

Lawson laboratory: Neurodegenerative disease caused by prions

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