Targeting neuronal excitability in MND for high-throughput drug screening

Dr Matthew Livesey
PI Dr Matthew Livesey
Co-investigators Dr James Alix
Prof. Dame Pamela Shaw
PI organisation University of Sheffield
Funding awarded £368,914
Completion date 31st March 2026 (18 months)


This proposal focuses on the electrical changes within the brain and nerves of MND patients, which play an important role in the disease. Our goal is to accelerate research into new medications that can modify these changes, thereby slowing down MND.

To do this, first we will study the electrical signals from the brain and nerves of patients in the clinic. Then, using human stem cell technology, we will make nerve cells from patient blood cells in the laboratory to study electrical changes in detail. We will then test drugs that can rescue the electrical changes, vastly speeding up drug discovery well beyond our current capabilities.

By linking the electrical signals in patients to lab-grown nerve cells, we will be able to tailor different drugs to specific patients. This groundbreaking approach will usher in an era of personalised medicine for MND patients and increase the chances of identifying new treatments.

Dr Matthew Livesey