Botox, used by Hollywood stars to smooth out facial wrinkles, is playing an important role in UQ research to understand how nerve cells communicate with each other.
The research is exploring basic nerve cell function, minute changes which underlie memory and learning, and possible causes of nerve diseases. Dr Frederic Meunier, a lecturer in UQs School of Biomedical Sciences, is studying basic physiological processes at the molecular level. Dr Meunier is one of seven UQ finalists in the 2005 UQ Foundation Research Excellence Awards to be announced on September 22 as a highlight of UQ Research Week 2005.
As one research strategy, he is taking advantage of the exquisite selectivity of powerful nerve toxins such as botox or glycerotoxin to selectively dissect basic nerve cell (neuronal) processes in Australian Research Council funded research. "Botox is the most potent neurotoxin currently known," Dr Meunier said. "It derives from the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, which causes botulism (food poisoning).
Dr Frederic Meunier | EurekAlert!
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