JCSMR School Seminar Series: Decoding the actin cytoskeleton using tropomyosin

Professor Edna Hardeman, Head, Neuromuscular and Regenerative Medicine Unit, School of Medical Sciences, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW.

The Neuromuscular and Regenerative Medicine Unit (NRMU) is engaged in a range of research activities that span basic mechanisms in cell biology to cell-based therapies to the cellular basis for aspects of human cognition and behaviour. Our disease foci are neuromuscular disorders, regenerative medicine, childhood cancer, cancer metabolic syndrome, and the neurodevelomental disorder William Beurens Syndrome. In particular, our research aims to understand muscle cytoarchitecture, muscle regeneration and develop stem cell-based therapy, to understand how radiation therapy for childhood cancers impacts the epigenome of muscle stem cells, to analyse anti-cytoarchitecture/anti-cancer drugs, and to understand how one gene, discovered by us, GTF2IRD1, can profoundly affect skeletal muscle and yet also play a role in human cognition and behaviour. Current research projects are:

  • Novel approach and insights into muscle stem cell transplantation
  • The role of transient DNA methylation in muscular adaption
  • The role of epigenetic modifications in longterm memory of irradiation in childhood cancer survivors
  • Development of anti-tropomyosin drugs, anti-cancer drugs
  • Regulation of cell proliferation by the actin cytoskeleton
  • Regulation of glucose uptake by tropomyosins and myosins
  • Gtf2ird1 and the molecular and cellular basis of human behaviour
  • The genetic control of skin proliferation in the face

Professor Hardeman received her doctorate from the Department of Biological Sciences, Stanford University and then took up a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Pharmacology, Stanford Medical School. She established her laboratory, the Muscle Development Unit at the Children’s Medical Research Institute in Sydney, and has built an international reputation defining mechanisms of muscle gene regulation, and generating mouse models for human skeletal muscle diseases and trialling therapies as part of an international consortium of the European Neuromuscular Centre. In 2009 she moved to the University of New South Wales to take up a Research Chair in Anatomy and establish the Neuromuscular and Regenerative Medicine Unit. Notable achievements include: developing the human skeletal alpha-actin promoter for skeletal muscle-specific expression in animal models of human disease and for gene therapy, the identification of a novel pulsatory, stochastic mode of gene transcription that contributed a new mechanism to the field of gene regulation, the generation of mouse models for nemaline myopathy and identification of therapies, member of collaborative team that identified tropomyosins as the gatekeepers of actin filament function, and the discovery of the gene Gtf2ird1 which is implicated in aspects of human cognition and behaviour.             


Date & time

12–1pm 10 October 2014


The Finkel Lecture Theatre, The John Curtin School of Medical Research, Building 131, Garran Road, ANU


 Laura Vitler
 +61 2 6125 2589

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