Identifying factors that improve gastrointestinal function in Duchenne's muscular dystrophy
Professor Gordon Lynch
+61 3 8344 0065
Gastrointestinal (GI) issues such as constipation, bloating, and feelings of fullness are common among patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) and are associated with significant discomfort, pain and reduced quality of life. Until recently, these complaints were thought to result from patient immobility and nutritional issues associated with skeletal and cardiac muscle atrophy, but our understanding needs to take into account the fact that dystrophin is expressed in both the neural and smooth muscle tissue of the gut.
Our preliminary studies, in conjunction with previously published studies demonstrate that the mdx mouse, the most commonly studied mouse model of DMD, displays significant gastrointestinal dysfunction demonstrated by altered motor patterns in the small intestine and colon. Together these data reveal that GI dysfunction in DMD is likely due to the underlying loss of dystrophin and not simply to patient immobility and poor nutrition.
Successfully addressing these significant gastrointestinal issues will dramatically improve quality of life for patients.
Dr Kate Murphy, Senior Research Fellow
Dr James Ryall, Senior Research Fellow
Dr Kristy Swiderski, Senior Research Fellow
Dr Justin Hardee, Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Dr Marissa Caldow, Senior Research Fellow
Audrey Chan, Research Support Officer
Jennifer Trieu, Research Assistant
Timur Naim, Research Assistant
Dylan Chung, Research Support Officer
Alaina Lee, Senior Research Assistant
Suzannah Read, Research Assistant
Savant Thakur, PhD student
Francesca Alves, PhD student
John Nguyen, Masters student
Chloe Li, Masters student
Aundrea Quek, Masters student
Yichen Xue, Honours student
2019-2021 ARC Discovery Project. Mechanisms of age - related changes in amino acid signaling in skeletal muscle
2018-2021 NHMRC Project Grant. Rescuing the Dystrophin-Glycoprotein Complex to protect muscles from wasting conditions
2018-2020 Duchenne Parent Project. Evaluating a sulforaphane-based nutraceutical to alleviate gastrointestinal dysfunction in DMD
2017-2020 NHMRC Project Grant. Therapeutic potential of skeletal muscle plasticity and slow muscle programming for muscular dystrophy
2017-2020 NHMRC Project Grant. A simple method to improve stem cell transplant therapy
2017-2019 Cancer Council Victoria. Using novel Fn14 inhibitory antibodies to treat cardiac cachexia in cancer
2015-2019 ARC Discovery Project. Understanding the cellular cues that direct muscle stem cell specification
This research project is available to PhD, Masters by Research, Honours, Master of Biomedical Science, Post Doctor Research students to join as part of their thesis.
Please contact the Research Group Leader to discuss your options.
Faculty Research Themes
School Research Themes
For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.
Department / Centre
MDHS Research library
Explore by researcher, school, project or topic.