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Personal profile


Dr Marco Morsch is a mid-career neuroscientist and group leader at the Department of Biomedical Sciences of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at Macquarie University. Marco received his PhD in 2009 from the University of Bonn, Germany, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Sydney. In 2014 Marco moved to Macquarie University to work at the ‘Centre for MND Research’.

Dr Morsch has established the first Australian zebrafish platform to characterise the process of neurodegeneration and monitor the interactions of phagocytosing microglia in real-time in the CNS of a living vertebrate (zebrafish). His unique research program allowed him to make important advances in the study of neurological diseases and, more recently, in the underlying principles of neuron-glia interactions in the healthy and stressed nervous system.

In 2018 he was awarded the ‘Outstanding mid-career researcher’ prize by MND Research Institute of Australia.

Research interests

Dr Morsch’s research program investigates the molecular & cellular pathways affected in neurodegeneration, using novel visualization techniques, advanced molecular tools, & innovative approaches to enhance drug delivery.

To study the underlying pathological mechanism of disease he has established unique live-imaging and laser-ablation protocols to accurately monitor the degeneration process of motor neurons in the CNS and its impact on surrounding cells.

Overall the zebrafish program closes a critical gap in the field by providing a preclinical animal model that allows real-time characterisation of cellular processes in the CNS.

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Research Output

A robust intrinsically green fluorescent poly(Amidoamine) dendrimer for imaging and traceable central nervous system delivery in zebrafish

Wang, G., Zhao, X., Wu, H., Lovejoy, D. B., Zheng, M., Lee, A., Fu, L., Miao, K., An, Y., Sayyadi, N., Ding, K., Chung, R. S., Lu, Y., Li, J., Morsch, M. & Shi, B., 2 Sep 2020, In : Small. 9 p.

Macquarie University

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

  • Pathogenic mutation in the ALS/FTD gene, CCNF, causes elevated Lys48-linked ubiquitylation and defective autophagy.

    Lee, A., Rayner, S. L., Gwee, S. S. L., De Luca, A., Shahheydari, H., Sundaramoorthy, V., Morsch, M., Hogan, A., Don, E., Williams, K., Yerbury, J. J., Blair, I., Atkin, J. D., Molloy, M. P. & Chung, R. S., 8 Feb 2019. 1 p.

    Macquarie University

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractResearchpeer-review