Project Summary

Our studies into energy needs in MND show that people living with MND use more energy than expected (this is commonly called “hypermetabolism”). We have also generated data to show that hypermetabolism in MND patients may be associated with increased energy needs in skeletal muscle, which itself is already energy demanding.

Using mouse models of MND, and biopsies of skeletal muscle from MND patients and non-MND control subjects, we are conducting the first studies that correlate the energy needs in skeletal muscle with the systemic energy needs of MND mice and each individual human participant. The mechanistic insights gained from these projects will allow us to determine whether metabolically directed treatment strategies should target skeletal muscle to improve muscle pathology, metabolic balance and prognosis in MND.

Neuromuscular junctions are the chemical synapses between motor neurons and skeletal muscle. Loss of these connections results in muscle weakness, which is typically seen in MND.


Research Group

Ngo Group


Motor Neurone Disease

Available Student Projects

Targeting the metabolism of glycosphingolipids as a novel therapeutic strategy for MND. (2017-2020)

Does the metabolic phenotype of skeletal muscle underpin muscle pathology and alterations in whole body metabolism in MND patients?

Project members

Lead Investigator

A/Prof Shyuan Ngo

Group Leader
Ngo Group

Leanne Jiang

Research Officer
Ngo Group

Lauren Buckett

PhD Student
Ngo Group

Hao Wang

PhD Student
Ngo Group

Stephanie Howe

PhD student
Ngo Group

Melinder Gill

Ngo Group