University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia

Group Description

Brief description of legal entity
The University of Sydney has a strong international reputation in research and is the largest University in Australia. This is unique among Australia's leading universities in the breadth of disciplines it offers, providing wide opportunities for personal development and cross-disciplinary study that delivers unique insights and breakthroughs. Researchers pursue cutting-edge breakthroughs, reaching across disciplinary barriers to find unique solutions to improve and transform the quality of living. Studying alongside these top researchers, and in some cases contributing to their research, exposes Sydney students to excellence – and challenges them to succeed as future leaders. In 2000 neuroscience was designated by The University of Sydney as major research strength. As a result, Sydney University Neuroscience (SUN) was established, an organisation representing the many laboratories contributing to neuroscience research at The University of Sydney and its teaching hospitals. The purpose of SUN was to unite and integrate the neuroscience research laboratories, provide a common point of reference for those working within SUN, to educate the community in the brain sciences and to showcase the many research threads currently pursued at the University of Sydney. The SUN network provided the basis for the establishment of the Brain & Mind Research Institute (BMRI) in 2004. This is a physically and conceptually discrete entity within the University that is devoted to the investigation and treatment of diseases of the brain and mind in which Professor Kassiou was appointed Head of the Drug Discovery Research Unit. It provides clinical services to children, adolescents and adults and houses on the same site basic neurosciences and translational research.

Main tasks
Research in my group is interdisciplinary and covers an exciting and diverse range of fields within medicinal chemistry and drug discovery. The group is primarily concerned with the understanding of drug-protein and drug-binding site interactions in order to obtain structure-activity relationships of bioactive CNS molecules. This allows the rationale design of more efficacious treatments for diseases of the brain. At present the main CNS targets are the translocator protein (TSPO) and the P2X7 purinergic receptor. In addition by using molecular imaging techniques within these fields we are able to better understand the living brain through in vivo studies. Our group is proud to be at the forefront of this new science, which is fast becoming the preferred method for the study of the brain regions and neural pathways affected in neurodegenerative disorders.

Participation in INMiND: WP3

Previous experience relevant to INMiND tasks

I have been an associated partner with WP3 in the 6PCRD (EU6th framework) in Diagnostic Molecular Imaging. During this time I have been involved in WP3 meetings and have contributed scientifically in the design, radiosynthesis and evaluation of several TSPO radioligands in both rodents and human. The most notable being the development of [11C]DPA-713 and [18F]DPA-714 which are now being used by several groups.

University of Sydney
Prof Michael KASSIOU
INMiND Office
European Institute for Molecular Imaging (EIMI) Waldeyerstr. 15
· 48149 Münster
Tel: +49 251 83 49300 · Fax: +49 251 83 49313