About the Harrison Lab

The Neuroplasticity and Systems Biology Lab, led by Dr. Benjamin Harrison, is part of the University of New England's Center of Excellence in the Neurosciences. The Harrison Laboratory studies neuroplasticity using an interdisciplinary systems biology approach: Our techniques include 'omics technologies coupled with bioinformatics for hypothesis generation.  Low-thoughput "gold-standard" validation assays (e.g., Western blotting, immunohistochemistry, qPCR) are then used to confirm/validate bioinformatic predictions and to test hypotheses. Validated targets are then assessed for activity and efficacy using whole-animal models. Finally, samples from disease models are collected for further 'omics studies, thus furthering the "systems-biology cycle".

Current projects include:

The Role of mRNA-Protein Interactions in Pain Chronification

- Discovery and characterisation of the role of 3'-Untranslated Region (3'UTR) mRNA variants during neuroplasticity.

- Discovery and characterisation of RNA-Binding Proteins (RBPs) that interact with 3'UTR variants during neuroplasticity.

- Targeting these RNA-protein interactions in models of chronic pain.

- Using peptide libraries to develop aptamers for discovery of non-opioid pain therapeutics.

The Alzheimer-Disease Gene: CD2AP

- Comparative histological characterisation of CD2AP expression in normal and diseased nervous tissue.

- The functional role of CD2AP in Alzheimer pathophysiology.