Breakthrough alzheimer’s and parkinson’s research recognised

Queensland’s Dr Rebecca Coll has been recognised by Australia’s peak medical research body for breakthrough research that could help treat incurable diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.


Research Australia has recognised Dr Coll, a researcher at The University of Queensland’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience, for her role in discovering promising anti-inflammatory compounds that block the NLRP3 inflammasome, a key driver of inflammation.


The NLRP3 inflammasome is a mediator in diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, gout, multiple sclerosis and atherosclerosis.


With no other drug clinically available that specifically targets NLRP3, this discovery has the potential to underpin the development of a range of new medical treatments.


“Inflammation is a growing global health issue and better treatments are needed,” said Dr Coll. “I am absolutely thrilled to receive this award and feel that this recognises our fantastic collaboration between chemistry and biology that has really driven this innovative research.”


Research Australia is the not-for-profit peak group representing 160 health and medical members, supporters and companies, advocating for health and medical research.


The CEO of Research Australia, Nadia Levin, said it was her privilege to recognise Dr Coll for her ground-breaking work, and her important discovery with potential to change lives.


“The potential implications of Dr Coll’s discovery for those living with these diseases is really quite exciting,” said Levin.

“We congratulate her on her most deserving win.


“As the winner of our award dedicated to young researchers only five years out from their PhD, Dr Coll has certainly set herself up as a very credible achiever. Dr Coll won the Griffith University Discovery Award, which is presented to an early career researcher who has made a significant impact within five years of completing their PhD.


“Dr Coll is already a respected researcher and has been recognised in the global community for her collaborative article, which is already highly cited after publication in February last year,” said Levin.


“Parkinson’s is a disease that currently has no known cure, and clinical research like this puts us on a path to better patient outcomes in terms of, hopefully, better treatment or even a cure.


“Research Australia is extremely proud to recognise Dr Coll for her work and we look forward to following the progress of this important area of research as it progresses towards the patient.”


Dr Rebecca Coll completed her PhD in biochemistry and immunology four years ago in 2012, and earned a fellowship at The University of Queensland (UQ) for her research in 2016.


Dr Coll joins Dr Andrew Gardner, Dr Genevieve Healy and Dr Franziska Bieri as alumni of the prestigious award.


For more on Research Australia and award winners see


17 November 2017.