Dr Marguerite Evans-Galea, PhD, Bruce Lefroy Centre for Genetic Health Research, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute.
Dr Evans-Galea leads a translational research program which centers on developing novel biomarkers and therapies for the neurodegenerative disorder, Friedreich ataxia (FA). To develop effective treatments for FA, it is important to understand disease mechanism and have robust disease models for testing. Dr Evans-Galea's background in oxidative stress, metal ion homeostasis and epigenetics provide a solid foundation for investigating the diverse features and pathogenic mechanisms of this disease. This complements her expertise in gene therapy and translational research where she has initiated two novel treatment approaches – bone marrow transplant and lentiviral gene therapy, and identified a novel FA mutation. Dr Evans-Galea has also led an international study which identified new biomarkers for FA and characterised the relationships between the molecular, epigenetic and clinical parameters of this disease (Annals Neurol, in press). Specifically, she found that intronic FXN methylation predicts gene expression and clinical outcome. This work will soon be highlighted in Nature Rev Neurol.
Dr Evans-Galea is keen to meet and chat with people after her seminar.