Graduate Research School Available Projects Novel approach for treating major depressive disorder (MDD)

Novel approach for treating major depressive disorder (MDD)

Title of Project

Novel approach for treating major depressive disorder (MDD)

Name of Advisor/s

A/Prof Zoltan Sarnyai


College of Public Health, Medical & Veterinary Science

Summary of Project

The treatment of MDD is a major unsolved medical and public health problem. Convergent findings from several lines of evidence have revealed a robust association between MDD and inflammation and immune activation. Targeting inflammatory pathways as a therapeutic tool for MDD has been recently suggested and initial clinical trials using anti-inflammatory agents are promising. Hookworm proteins exert an immunosuppressant and anti-inflammatory effects in vivo. We know that these proteins have no major adverse effects as they have co-evolved through the millions of years of worm-human interaction. Therefore, we hypothesize that hookworm proteins may serve as revolutionary, mechanistically novel and safe therapeutic agents in the treatment of MDD.

Key Words

major depression, inflammation, immune response, behaviour, hookworm

Would suit an applicant who

Has a background in any of the following (and related) disciplines: immunology, parasitology, neuroscience, experimental psychology