Lezanne Ooi

Dr Lezanne Ooi

Phone:    +61 2 4221 5865
Office:      B32.309




  • Senior Lecturer 

Research Interests

  • Use of induced pluripotent stem cells in neurodegenerative disease modelling and drug discovery.
  • Effects of inflammation and oxidative stress on neuronal excitability and function.
  • Identification of neuroprotective genes and drugs.
  • Global control of gene expression and protein function: transcriptional regulation and epigenetics.


Do-Ha D, Buskila Y, Ooi L. Impairments in Motor Neurons, Interneurons and Astrocytes Contribute to Hyperexcitability in ALS: Underlying Mechanisms and Paths to Therapy. Molecular Neurobiology 2017 DOI: 10.1007/s12035-017-0392-y.

Lum JS, Fernandez F, Matosin N, Andrews JL, Huang XF, Ooi L, Newell KA. Neurodevelopmental Expression Profile of Dimeric and Monomeric Group 1 mGluRs: Relevance to Schizophrenia Pathogenesis and Treatment. Scientific Reports 2016 Oct 10;6:34391. doi: 10.1038/srep34391.

Balez R, Steiner N,  Engel M, Sanz Muñoz S,  Lum JS, Wu Y, Wang D, Vallotton P, Sachdev P, O’Connor M, Sidhu K, Münch G & Ooi L. Neuroprotective effects of apigenin against inflammation, neuronal excitability and apoptosis in an induced pluripotent stem cell model of Alzheimer’s disease. Scientific Reports. 2016 doi: 10.1038/srep31450.

Engel M, Do-Ha D, Muñoz SS, Ooi L. Common pitfalls of stem cell differentiation: a guide to improving protocols for neurodegenerative disease models and research. Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences 2016 doi: 10.1007/s00018-016-2265-3. 

Yerbury JJ, Ooi L, Dillin A, Saunders DN, Hatters DM, Beart PM, Cashman NR, Wilson MR, Ecroyd H. Walking the tightrope: Proteostasis and neurodegenerative disease. Journal of Neurochemistry. 2016 137(4):489-505. doi: 10.1111/jnc.13575. 

Sobrevia L, Ooi L, Ryan S, Steinert JR. Nitric Oxide: A Regulator of Cellular Function in Health and Disease. Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity. 2016 2016:9782346. doi: 10.1155/2016/9782346. 

Balez R and Ooi L. Getting to NO Alzheimer’s Disease: Neuroprotection versus Neurotoxicity Mediated by Nitric Oxide. Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity. 2016 2016:3806157. doi: 10.1155/2016/3806157. 

Steiner N, Balez R, Karunaweera N, Lind JM, Münch G, Ooi L. Neuroprotection of Neuro2a cells and the cytokine suppressive and anti-inflammatory mode of action of resveratrol in activated RAW264.7 macrophages and C8-B4 microglia. Neurochem Int. 2015 Oct 29. pii: S0197-0186(15)30063-2. doi: 10.1016/j.neuint.2015.10.013.

Zeineddine R, Pundavela JF, Corcoran L, Stewart EM, Do-Ha D, Bax M, Guillemin G, Vine KL, Hatters DM, Ecroyd H, Dobson CM, Turner BJ, Ooi L, Wilson MR, Cashman NR, Yerbury JJ. SOD1 protein aggregates stimulate macropinocytosis in neurons to facilitate their propagation. 2015 Molecular Neurodegeneration Oct 31;10:57. 

Yang S, Zhang KY, Kariawasam R, Bax M, Fifita JA, Ooi L, Yerbury JJ, Nicholson GA, Blair IP. Evaluation of Skin Fibroblasts from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Patients for the Rapid Study of Pathological Features. Neurotoxicty Research 2015 Aug;28(2):138-46.  

Gamper N and Ooi L. Redox and nitric-oxide-mediated regulation of sensory neuron ion channel function. Antioxidants and redox signalling 2015 22:486-504. 

Ooi L, Sidhu K, Poljak A, Sutherland G, O’Connor MD, Sachdev P and Münch G. Induced pluripotent stem cells as tools for disease modelling and drug discovery in Alzheimer’s disease. Journal of Neural Transmission 2013 Jan;120(1):103-11. doi: 10.1007/s00702-012-0839-2.

Ooi L, Gigout S, Pettinger L and Gamper N. Triple cysteine module within M-type K+ channels mediates reciprocal channel modulation by nitric oxide and reactive oxygen species. Journal of Neuroscience 2013 33: 6041-6. 

Laurenti D and Ooi L. Mammalian expression systems and transfection techniques. Methods Mol Biol. 2013 998:21-32. 

Ooi L, Kirubakaran S, Patel M, Debono R and Münch G. New drugs under development for Alzheimer's disease. Book chapter in: Advances in Alzheimer's Disease Management. Gauthier S, Rosa-Neto P (Eds). Expert Reviews 2012 p 58-67. Future Medicine, London, UK. 

Linley JE*, Ooi L*, Pettinger L, Kirton H, Boyle J, Peers CS and Gamper N. Neurokinin signalling in peripheral sensory neurons: reactive oxygen species as novel second messengers. *Joint first author, Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2012, Jun 12;109(24):E1578-86.

Searchable publications

Current Lab Members and Affiliates

  • Dr Tracey Berg
  • Dr Yossi Buskila
  • Dr Mauricio Castro
  • Dr Martin Engel
  • Dr Claire Stevens 

PhD Students

  • Rachelle Balez
  • Monique Bax
  • Dzung Do-Ha
  • Sonia Sanz Munoz
  • Yi Sing Gee (co-supervised)
  • Jeremy Lum (co-supervised)
  • Rebecca San Gil (co-supervised)
  • Reece Sophocleous (co-supervised)

Masters Students

  • Enad Alabed

Honours Students

  • Natalie Guthrie
  • Grady Smith

Future Topics for Students

  • Induced pluripotent stem cells in Alzheimer’s disease and motor neurone disease research.
  • Identification of novel neuroprotective drugs.
  • Regulation of gene expression in neurodegenerative disease.

Abbreviated CV


  • 2015-date Senior Lecturer, School of Biological Sciences, University of Wollongong
  • 2012-2014 Lecturer, School of Biological Sciences, University of Wollongong
  • 2011-2012 School of Medicine, University of Western Sydney
  • 2006-2011 Postdoctoral research fellow, Institute of Membrane and Systems Biology, University of Leeds, UK
  • 2002-2006 Wellcome Trust prize PhD studentship. School of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Leeds, UK 


Current Grants

  • NHMRC Project Grant APP1125796, 2017-2019
  • NHMRC Project Grant APP1107644, 2016-2018
  • NHMRC Dementia Teams Grant APP1095215, 2015-2020
  • NHMRC Project Grant APP1079995, 2015-2017 

Past Grants 

  • NHMRC Project Grant APP1071250, 2014-2016
  • Brain Foundation research gift, 2015
  • Cooper Foundation grant, 2014
  • MNDRIA Grant-in-aid, 2014
  • The Medical Advances Without Animals Trust, 2012-2014
Last reviewed: 30 January, 2018