Dr Maya Hanspal


I am interested in the role that protein misfolding plays in neurodegenerative diseases. In recent years, much attention has been drawn to the concept of 'prion-like' aggregation and spatiotemporal spread of misfolding protein in neurodegenerative diseases. My PhD project focuses on determining the disease mechanisms underlying amytrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a form of motor neuron disease (MND), with particular emphasis on the disease-associated protein TDP-43. Currently I am investigating spreading of TDP-43 in the central nervous system using a cell model to observe whether cell-to-cell transfer of the protein takes place. In addition, I am undertaking an array of biophysical and biochemical assays to complement this work.

GFP-expressing neuron-like cells.
GFP-expressing neuron-like cells.
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Research Focus


amytrophic lateral sclerosis


cell model

protein misfolding


Clinical conditions

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)

Motor neuron disease (MND)

Movement disorders


Cell culture

Confocal microscopy

Fluorescence microscopy




Janet Kumita


Justin Yerbury Web: http://smah.uow.edu.au/biol/bi...

Associated News Items


    in press

    Hanspal MA, Dobson CM, Yerbury JJ and Kumita JR. (in press), “The relevance of contact-independent cell-to-cell transfer of TDP-43 and SOD1 in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis” BBA- Molecular Basis of Disease


    Zeineddine R, Whiten DR, Farrawell NE, McAlary, Hanspal MA, Kumita JR, Wilson MR, Yerbury JJ (2017), “Flow cytometric measurement of the cellular propagation of TDP-43 aggregation. ” Prion


    Nicholas RS, Kostadima V, Hanspal M, Wakerley BR, Sergeant R, Decuypere S, Malik O, Boyton RJ, Altmann DM. (2015), “MS in South Asians in England: early disease onset and novel pattern of myelin autoimmunity.” BMC Neurol 3;15:72.