Hei Wun (Alison) Cheng

Alison graduated at the University of Sydney with a Bachelor’s of Science (Hons). She worked as a Research Assistant in Prof Michael Kassiou’s Drug Discovery group and is now currently in her 3rd year of her PhD working with Prof Michael Kassiou and Dr Eryn Werry.

Forefront Group: Medicinal Chemistry & Drug Discovery


Prof Michael Kassiou, Dr Eryn Werry


  • Drug discovery
  • HIT optimisation
  • Protein purification

Affiliate Organisations:

School of Medical Sciences, University of Sydney

Neurodegeneration of interest:


Specific Skills:

  • Pharmacologist

Developing novel frontotemporal dementia and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis therapeutics to rescue TDP-43 mistranslocation

Disease area:


Research Project Description

The trans-activation response DNA-binding protein (TDP-43) is a DNA/RNA-binding protein located in the nucleus involved in regulating alternative splicing processes and transcriptional activities of RNA. In amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD), a common key pathological hallmark is the abnormal mislocalization and aggregation of TDP-43.

In vivo studies have shown that the selective reduction of mislocalized TDP-43 from the cytoplasm is linked to reduced toxicity. Since there are currently no treatments reverse ALS and FTD, TDP-43 represents a promising target to develop novel therapeutic options.

Using western blot and binding assays on purified recombinant TDP-43. The aim is to understand the binding and function of novel compounds on TDP-43.