We are thrilled to announce that the website of the New Zealand MND Research Network (www.mndresearch.auckland.ac.nz) launched on November 1st 2017.
The Research Network website’s purpose is to provide a central location informing others of all MND-related research in New Zealand. It profiles six research groups currently doing work that impacts on MND. Over time, more researchers will be added to the website.
Dr Emma Scotter, who has a passion for MND research, has led the establishment of the network.
After a four-year fellowship in the UK, where she investigated misfolded proteins in MND at King’s College London, Dr Scotter returned to Auckland in 2014 to head up the Motor Neuron Disease Lab at the Centre for Brain Research at the University of Auckland. She immediately saw a need to link New Zealand MND researchers together, having seen in the UK the way that research networks could accelerate and broaden research in the topic of focus.
The New Zealand MND Research Network will facilitate the interaction between MND biomedical and clinical researchers, allied health professionals and other researchers who will have an impact on MND in New Zealand. It is anticipated that this increased interaction will also encourage new MND research.
Jayne McLean is the manager of the New Zealand MND Research Network. She has a science, IT and communications background, giving her the unique skill set required to take the research network concept and work to make it a reality.
“It is really exciting to see what Kiwi researchers are doing in the specific area of MND,” she says. “There’s also a great deal of research occurring in other fields, such as assistive technology, which will also make a positive difference to people who have MND.”
Dr Scotter says she is delighted that so much progress has made towards creating a more connected MND research community in New Zealand. “I look forward to seeing more Kiwi researchers recruited to the study of MND, and to working together to accelerate MND research progress in New Zealand.”
The New Zealand MND Research Network has been funded by a grant from research funds raised by the Walk 2 D’Feet MND in 2015 and 2016. Dr Scotter was recently awarded a Rutherford Discovery Fellowship to further support her vision of growing a national Motor Neuron Disease Research programme.