Neurological Foundation Philip Wrightson Postdoctoral Fellowship


Betty Kao
Royal Children’s Hospital, Victoria

Ms Kao will undertake her Neurological Foundation Philip Wrightson Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Royal Holloway, University of London in the United Kingdom. Ms Kao will be supervised by Professor George Dickson, who holds a Chair in Molecular Cell Biology and has spent most of his career studying neuromuscular disease and muscle cell biology. Following the completion of her fellowship Ms Kao aims to return to New Zealand and become a principal investigator of her own research group.

An investigation into the role of Rpl3l and regulation of ribosome biogenesis in the pathogenesis of Duchenne muscular dystrophy: implications for novel therapeutic strategies

Investigating the role of a protein called Rpl3l in the muscular changes of a Muscular Dystrophy model: a new treatment target may be identified 

Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is the most common fatal genetic disorder in childhood. It is caused by mutations in a gene called DMD that result in the absence of an important structural protein in muscle, called dystrophin. Absence of dystrophin results in progressive muscle weakness caused by pathological changes at the molecular level that are as yet poorly understood. A recent study revealed a protein called ‘Rpl3l’ may play a role in the pathological changes associated with DMD. Ms Kao’s fellowship aims to elucidate the role of Rpl3l in DMD and speculates that it could be targeted as a treatment for this devastating disease.