Metals such as iron are involved in many essential biological processes, including cell division and oxygen transport. The balance of iron in the body is tightly regulated because of its potential to form harmful reactive oxygen species. Disruption of iron balance, such as the accumulation of brain iron with age, can lead to oxidative stress and neuronal damage, and this damage is thought to drive the neurodegenerative effects seen in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). More than 400,000 Australians are currently affected by dementia, at a projected cost of more than $1 trillion over the next 40 years.

Dr Heffernan will give an overview of iron biology research in neurodegenerative disease conducted at the Florey Institute, including the use of the microscopic nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans, as a model of aging by the Molecular Gerontology Laboratory headed by Dr Gawain McColl.


Dr Amy Heffernan, NHMRC-ARC Dementia Development Research Fellow,
The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, Parkville, Victoria


39 Kessels Road, Coopers Plains, QLD, 4108
QHFSS Seminar Room 103