Dr Janet van Eersel

Dr Janet van Eersel, Group leader and Senior Lecturer, Macquarie University.

Janet is a group leader in the Dementia Research Centre in the Department of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Health and Human Sciences at Macquarie University. Janet received her PhD from the Department of Pathology at the University of Sydney in 2010. She then began working as a postdoctoral fellow at the Brain and Mind Research Centre where she continued her work on dementia. In 2011, she was awarded a Discovery Early Career Researcher Award from the Australian Research Council to support her fellowship. In 2013, Janet moved to the University of NSW where she worked as a junior group leader and research-only Lecturer in the Dementia Research Unit headed by Prof Lars Ittner in the Faculty of Medicine. In 2018, Janet then joined Macquarie University as a group leader in the Dementia Research Centre.

Forefront Group:

  • Macquarie University Dementia Research Centre (DRC) Dementia Research Group Leader

Neurodegeneration of interest:

AD, FTD, MND, stroke, seizure, ageing


  • Mouse models
  • Drug development

Affiliate Organisations

Macquarie University

Specific Skills:

  • Medical Scientist
  • Molecular Biologist
  • Biochemist
  • Animal behavioural analysis


  • Pre-clinical development of novel therapies for the treatment of AD and FTD
  • Understanding the role of tau in neuronal hyperexcitation and seizures
  • Understanding the role of ER proteins in tau pathology

Project - Preclinical development of specific tau-binding compounds to target underlying disease mechanisms for the treatment of dementia

List all Chief investigators and associate investigators

  • CIA Janet van Eersel
  • CIB Lars Ittner

Research Project Abstract

Alzheimer’s disease and Frontotemporal Dementia are two of the most common causes of dementia. Unfortunately, there is currently no effective treatment or cure for either of these disorders. Therefore, the development and testing of new therapies is urgently required. Although these two dementias are quite distinct from one another, in both conditions, a protein known as Tau is thought to play a central role in the disease process. One mechanism by which Tau is thought to be involved, is via excessive interactions with another protein known as Fyn. Together, Fyn and Tau set off a cascade of events that lead to overstimulation of neuronal brain cells, eventually causing cell death. My work postulates that if interactions between Tau and Fyn could be disrupted or reduced in the brains of dementia patients, this would provide therapeutic benefits. Therefore, my research project aims to identify compounds that can disrupt interactions between Tau and Fyn by utilising a cutting-edge technology that can screen up to 14 billion compounds at once. Identified hits will then be tested in cell culture models to determine their potential usefulness. This will lay the groundwork for pre-clinical testing and, hopefully in the future, clinical trial testing in patients.

Project tag with a disease


Research Project Description

  • DNA-encoded library screening
  • In-vitro drug screening assays

Key Publications from this project

Ittner LM, Ke YD, Delerue F, Bi M, Gladbach A, van Eersel J, Wölfing H, Chieng BC, Christie MJ, Napier IA, Eckert A, Staufenbiel M, Hardeman E, Götz J. Dendritic function of tau mediates amyloid-beta toxicity in Alzheimer's disease mouse models. Cell. 2010 Aug 6;142(3):387-97. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2010.06.036. Epub 2010 Jul 22. PMID: 20655099.