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Double Group - Assoc Professor Kay Double

Parkinson’s disease, a common neurodegenerative disorder, occurs when certain cells in the brain that control movement die. Why these brain cells die while other ostensibly similar brain cells survive is, however, is not understood. Our research aims to understand why selected brain cells are vulnerable to death in Parkinson’s disease so that we can develop ways to improve the survival of these cells and thus prevent Parkinson’s disease. We are also developing improved diagnostic methods for Parkinson’s disease and researching how damage to the brain can be restored using stem cell-based approaches.

Principal Research Fellow and NHMRC Senior Research Fellow, NeuRA
Assoc Professor in Pharmacology, School of Medicine, UNSW
Medicine Faculty Member in Neurochemistry, Clinic and Policlinic for Psychiatry, University of Wuerzburg, Wuerzburg, Germany
T: +612 9399 1056
E: k.double@neura.edu.au

Assoc Prof Kay Double is a Principal Research Fellow and NHMRC Senior Research Fellow heading a research group investigating the neurochemistry of neurodegenerative disorders, with a particular focus on Parkinson’s disease. Her research aims to understand why only certain selective neurons are vulnerable to these diseases. She has strong interests in developing improved diagnostic methods for neurodegenerative diseases and understanding the regulation of stem cells in the healthy and diseased brain. Assoc Prof Double teaches at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels at the University New South Wales and hosts Australian and international undergraduate and graduate students completing research projects in her laboratory. She has extensive national and international collaborations and also teaches at the University of Würzburg, Germany where she holds the postdoctoral degree of the Habilitation.

Copper changes in Parkinson’s disease

Copper is essential for brain health and too much, or too little copper, in the human brain is associated with serious neurodegenerative conditions.

Differential expression of proteins in the human brain

The selective degeneration of A9 dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc) in Parkinson’s disease is well recognised while other dopaminergic cells, such as those found in the

Neurogenesis in healthy ageing

New neuron birth, or neurogenesis, continues in the subventricular zone and dentate gyrus of adult brain. This process has been linked with memory, anxiety, addiction and olfaction.

Regulation of tyrosine hydroxylase

We are investigating how the enzyme tyrosine hydroxylase, the rate-limiting enzyme for dopamine production, is regulated in the healthy brain and how this is changed in Parkinson's disease.

Sex steroids and the modulation of dopamine cell vulnerability

This project is suitable for an ILP, Honours or PhD project. Contact Assoc Prof Double for more information.

The neurochemistry of dopamine in cell vulnerability

One of the characteristic features of the vulnerable neurons in Parkinson’s disease is that they contain dopamine, a neurotransmitter known to convey a high oxidative load upon cells due to its cap

Ultrasound imaging in Parkinson’s disease

Current imaging techniques to support a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease, such as PET and MRI, are expensive and difficult to access.

Research team 
Dr Kay Double's picture
Assoc Professor Kay Double
Principal Research Fellow and NHMRC Senior Research Fellow, NeuRA
Assoc Professor in Pharmacology, School of Medicine, UNSW
T: +612 9399 1056
E: k.double@neura.edu.au
Veronica Smoothy's picture
Veronica Smoothy
Research Assistant
T: +612 9399 1102
E: v.smoothy@neura.edu.au
An Truong's picture
An Truong
Honours Student
Ben Trist's picture
Ben Trist
Honours Student

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