ISABELLA Lambert-Smith, 22, of Caringbah South, has received a scholarship worth more than $90,000 to complete a PhD into motor neuron disease (MND).
The 2008 dux of Woolooware High School will use the funding from the Rotary Club of Dural and the University of Wollongong to study the specific roles of motor neuron genes, and their connection.
“We believe that this connection involves a specific cellular system that is fundamental to cell function, and that is damaged in diseased motor neurons,” Miss Lambert-Smith said.
“Understanding this link will provide a significant step forward in identifying the therapeutic targets for motor neuron disease patients.”
MND is a group of progressive neurological disorders that destroy motor neurons, the cells that control essential voluntary muscle activity such as speaking, walking, breathing and swallowing.
Miss Lambert-Smith, who has always had an interest in neuroscience, was inspired to research MND after learning that her senior supervisor’s family had the disorder.
The Rotary Club of Dural is a major contributor to Australian Rotary Heath, having co-funded PhD scholarships for research into conditions including prostate cancer and dementia.
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