ForeFront has vast experience in clinical and laboratory-based research. This, combined with a unique approach from basic molecular science through to clinical translation, will help us understand the cellular mechanisms underlying neurodegeneration. This will allow earlier detection and intervention for people affected by these diseases and will improve treatment and prognosis.
The ForeFront research program is a multi-site collaboration from all over the world, with research centres and facilities including the University of Sydney’s Brain and Mind Centre (BMC), Macquarie University’s Dementia Research Centre (DRC) and Centre for Motor Neuron Disease Research. Learn more about our research centres.
Clinical Research Groups
Laboratory-Based Research Groups
Our focus is on neurodegeneration, primarily dementia, memory disturbances, Motor Neuron Disease, movement and neurosleep disorders. We aim to better understand these diseases, improve diagnosis for early intervention and treatment management, and overall better the quality of life of our patients. Along with neurodegeneration, we follow healthy ageing participants to determine what can help delay or prevent dementia and what factors can help with our wellbeing as we age.
DEMENTIA, MEMORY LOSS AND HEALTHY AGEING
- DINAD – Families with non-Alzheimer's Disease dementia
- BMC Dementia Neurogenomics
- BMC FRONTIER – Frontotemporal dementia
- BMC MIND – Memory and Dementia
- BMC Lewy Body Disease
- BMC HBA – Healthy Brain Ageing
MOTOR NEURON DISEASE (MND)
We aim to characterise the pathological, neuroimaging and neuropsychological signatures of sleep-arousal disturbances in order to develop novel, clinically translatable biomarkers for future neurodegenerative conditions.
Clinical tools from the forefront clinical research groups
We develop a range of clinical tools that assist in diagnosing people with neurodegenerative diseases, and we make these tools available for others.List of clinical tools
We have developed expertise in advanced technologies to assist clinicians with accurate diagnosis to improve early intervention and treatment. These include Neuroimaging, Genetics, Bioinformatics and Biomarkers
We use structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET) to assess different aspects of the brain.
FOREFRONT NEUROGENETICS AND EPIGENETICS
We identify inherited changes in DNA sequences that cause or are associated with familial and sporadic neurodegenerative diseases, and also assess epigenetic changes to DNA that modify gene activity or expression to impact on neurodegenerative diseases.
We develop data and computer software algorithms to assess different types of datasets from individuals, groups and populations in general, in order to identify the critical information that could predict the onset and progression of a particular disease.
We collect, prepare, archive and analyse blood and other biospecimen samples from our research patients for the development of biomarkers.
Our research is not possible without the involvement of people that are affected or impacted by ageing and neurodegenerative diseases. We participate in a number of clinical trials, some coordinated through our research clinics, some coordinated by a researcher in our clinical research groups, and some coordinated by others at a national or international level.
For more information on the current clinical trials or to become involved as a patient or healthy control, please send us an email:
- MND - Hannah Timmins
- FTD - Cassandra Kaizik
- Dementia/healthy ageing - Healthy Brain Ageing Clinic
- Parkinson's disease - Stacey West
- Neurosleep disorders - Neurosleep Clinic
JOIN OUR CLINICAL RESEARCH GROUPS
We investigate the molecular and pathological changes in the brain and spinal cord of research patients with neurodegeneration, along with blood biomarkers to determine early changes in the disease progression. We develop cell and animal models to replicated these changes, and combined with our drug development and RNA biology teams, we aim to intervene in the disease progression to slow and eventually prevent these disease.
- DRC - Frontotemporal dementia, dementia and animal models
- RNA Biology in Dementia
- BMC DAMD Frontotemporal Dementia
- BMC DAMD Alzheimer's Disease
- BMC DAMD Dementia with Lewy body
MOTOR NEURON DISEASE
LABORATORY-BASED RESEARCH DRUG DEVELOPMENT
WE NEED THE RIGHT TISSUE
In order to study these diseases we need access to the right tissue. Our Laboratory-based researchers have a unique advantage of working together with our clinical research team to allow us to have a rich cohort of tissue with well documented clinical and family history. Please contact us if you wish to be involved.
OUR BRAIN TISSUE
Our researchers have access to brain tissue to conduct studies on people who had participated in our research studies to gain a greater understanding of the different aspects of neurodegenerative diseases. Studying brain tissue from patients with and without neurodegeneration is essential to make breakthroughs in understanding the disease processes occurring in the brain tissue, and to develop models and treatment targets for these disease processes.
For more information on our brain banks:
JOIN OUR LABORATORY- BASED RESEARCH TEAMS