Centre for Integrative Physiology

Dr Lyndsay Murray

My lab focusing on investigating the cellular and molecular mechanisms which make motor neurons vulnerable to degeneration, with a specific interest in the childhood motor neuron disease Spinal Muscular Atrophy.

Lyndsay Murray

Lecturer in Anatomy

  • Hugh Robson Building
  • 15 George Square
  • Edinburgh EH8 9XD

Contact details

Personal profile

  • 2014 – Present: Lecturer in Anatomy
  • 2010 – 2014: Postdoctoral Fellow, Kothary Lab, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
  • 2006 – 2010: PhD in Neuroscience, Gillingwater Lab University of Edinburgh.
  • 2005-2006: MSc in Life Science, University of Edinburgh.
  • 2000 – 2004: BSc in Biomedical Science with Hons in Physiology

Research

Our work aims to understand the both reasons why motor neurons are vulnerable and what mechanisms contribute to their degeneration.

It is our hope that by understanding these processes we can develop ways in which to protect motor neurons in a variety of pathological contexts.

More specifically, one of our current projects is centred on transcriptional profiling of differentially vulnerable motor neurons.  We aim to identify factors which make specific pools of motor neurons selectively resistant in motor neuron disease, and use this knowledge to develop new neuroprotective strategies.

Our lab has a specific interest in the childhood motor neuron disease Spinal Muscular Atrophy.  We have ongoing projects looking at where and when pathology starts within the motor neuron.  We aim to understand how this limits the effective therapeutic time window, and develop ways to maximize the benefits for patients who are treated after symptoms have started.

An additional area of interest is based on the observation that neonatal axons and synapses degenerate more slowly after injury that they do in adults.  We aimto understand why this is, and use this an a model system to better understand the processes of axon degeneration.

neuromuscular junction

Funding

  • Cure SMA
  • Muscular Dystrophy Association
  • Gwendolyn Strong Foundation
  • Fight SMA
  • Newlife
  • Tenovus Scotland
  • Anatomical Society of Great Britain

Collaborations

  • Dr Rashmi Kothary, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
  • Prof Tom Gillingwater, University of Edinburgh
  • Dr Christian Lorson, University of Missouri
  • Dr Pleasantine Mill, University of Edinburgh

Team members

  • Alison Thomson (Postdoctoral Fellow)
  • Natalie Courtney (PhD Student)
  • Roxanna Munir (MSc by Research Student)

Selected publications

Kline RA, Kaifer KA, Osman EY, Carella F, Tiberi A, Ross J Pennetta G., Lorson CL., Murray LM. (2017) Comparison of independent screens on differentially vulnerable motor neurons reveals alpha-synuclein as a common modifier in motor neuron diseases. PLoS Genet 13(3): e1006680.

Murray LM, Beauvais A, Gibeault S, Courtney NL, Kothary R. (2015) Transcriptional Profiling of Differentially Vulnerable Motor Neurons at Pre-symptomatic Stage in the Smn2B/- Mouse Model of Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Acta Neuropathologica Communications. 3:55-72 
 Gillingwater TH., Murray LM., (2015) How far away is spinal muscular atrophy gene therapy? Expert Reviews in Neurotherapeutics. 15:965

Gillingwater TH., Murray LM., (2015) How far away is spinal muscular atrophy gene therapy? Expert Reviews in Neurotherapeutics. 15:965

Murray, LM., Gillingwater TH., Kothary R., (2013) Dissection of the mouse transversus abdominis muscle for whole-mount neuromuscular junction analysis. J Vis Exp. 83:e51162

Murray LM., Beauvais A., Bhanot K. and R., K. (2012) Defects in Neuromuscular Junction Remodelling in the Smn2B/- Mouse Model of Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Neurobiology of disease, 49C: 57-67

Murray LM., Comely LH., Gillingwater TH., Parson SH. (2011) The response of neuromuscular junctions to injury is developmentally regulated. FASEB J. 25:1306-13