Dr Kunle Bademosi: Race Against Dementia/Dementia Australia Research Foundation Fellow, The University of Queensland

I receive the Race Against Dementia – Dementia Australia Research Foundation postdoctoral fellowship with great excitement and pleasure. My full appreciation goes to Sir Jackie Stewart and his desire to implement novel technologies in ameliorating the harmful impact of the different forms of dementias on our society. This fellowship provides me with the unique platform to work with and be mentored by great minds in the field of fronto-temporal dementia (FTD) here at the University of Queensland, Australia as well as with collaborators in multiple countries across the world. The efficiency of teamwork during pit stops in Formula One perfectly represents my vision on how major solutions will be discovered in overcoming dementia. I anticipate that many great strides will be made this new decade in providing clarity on the onset and progression of FTD and in generating different therapeutics. I look forward to working as a RAD fellow in making these happen as soon as possible.

Dr Kunle Bademosi

Dr Adekunle Bademosi is a post-doctoral research fellow at the Queensland Brain Institute, The University of Queensland, Australia. His research aims to understand the mechanisms that underpin onset of neurodegenerative disorders. In particular, he is interested in providing key mechanistic and therapeutic answers to fronto-temporal dementia (FTD). FTD is associated with progressive damage to the aspects of the human brain involved in the control of movement, problem solving, memory, social behaviour and other vital functions. Post-mortem sampling of the brains of people who have lived with FTD revealed the presence of large clumps of proteins, which are toxic and damaging to the brain. Researchers are yet to identify why these proteins begin to cluster. His research therefore aims to elucidate why and how these proteins clump. Further, the nerves of the brain have intrinsic protective waste-disposal mechanisms that are normally responsible for clearing up these protein clumps. However, in FTD these protective mechanisms fail. His research will potentially identify where the protein clumping begins, how the clumps overwhelm the brain’s waste disposal-recycle machinery for damaged proteins and help identify potential drugs that can halt or reverse the clumping of these proteins. His work has the unique potential of providing an early diagnostic tool prior to the observation of any FTD associated symptoms. Further, it will provide the opportunity to screen the effect of new drugs on the protein clumps prior to commencing clinical trials.

Understanding the dynamics of TDP-43 aggregation in FTD using advanced imaging tools

Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is associated with progressive damage to the aspects of the human brain involved in the control of movement, problem solving, memory, social behaviour and other vital functions. Post-mortem sampling of the brains of FTD patients revealed the presence of large clumps of proteins, which are toxic and damaging to the brain. The brain is made up of billions of cells called neurons; these protein clumps were shown to build up within some of these neurons. Even though FTD can affect anybody, researchers are yet to identify why these proteins begin to cluster. Further, each neuron has intrinsic protective mechanisms that are normally responsible for clearing up these protein clumps. However, in FTD these protective mechanisms fail. In an attempt to understand how and why FTD begins, this project will use very recently developed advanced imaging tools that have resolutions up to ten million times that of a standard digital camera. This project will utilise these tools to visualise these proteins before, during and after their accumulation within neurons derived from laboratory animals that have been experimentally induced to mimic FTD conditions. The results obtained will help scientists to produce drugs that target FTD.