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Lysosomal Diseases Research Unit

We are using our core strength in lysosomal research to investigate the contribution of the lysosomal network to various disorders, particularly in neurodegeneration.

The Lysosomal Diseases Research Unit (LDRU) is a world-class, highly successful research program investigating the role and function of the lysosome in health and disease. For more than 25 years we have been leaders in the biochemistry, cell biology and genetics of the lysosome, and we have delivered state-of-the-art diagnostics and commercialised the first ever treatments for two lysosomal storage disorders.

The importance of lysosomal biology to human health was first recognised through our seminal work on a group of inherited disorders called Lysosomal Storage Disorders (LSDs). Our research efforts in this area spanned the spectrum of basic biology through to the development and commercialisation of a treatment—and has helped improve the lives of individuals and families affected by these disorders. 
Our research is breaking new ground in many important areas of health research, including disorders such as stroke, heart disease and neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s disease.  

We have five research areas with more than 20 multidisciplinary and interactive biomedical researchers specialising in: central nervous system therapeutics, neurobiology, organelle biology and disease, mass spectrometry, and confocal microscopy.

Lead researcher: Professor Christopher Proud

Research team

  • Associate Professor Pirjo Apaja 
  • Dr Kim Hemsley
  • Dr Tim Sargeant
  • Dr Marten Snel


  • Professor Bob Casson, Dr Glyn Chidlow - Institute of Ophthalmology
  • Professor Rob Richards, Dr Louise O’Keefe - Department of Genetics and Evolution Biology, University of Adelaide
  • Dr Lisa Butler - South Australian Institute of Medical Research (SAHMRI)
  • Dr Jim Manavis - University of Adelaide 
  • Dr Rohan Teasdale - University of Queensland
  • Dr Alessandro Fraldi - TIGEM, Naples, Italy 
  • Professor G Lukacs - McGill University

Interested in undertaking a postgraduate research degree with us?

We offer exciting opportunities for researchers at the honours, masters and PhD levels. Our research degrees are open to students from a broad range of backgrounds, and range from basic sciences to clinical research. If you are interested in human health, consider furthering your research career with us.