Nigel Laing


Former affiliation

The University of Western Australia

  • The University of Western Australia (M519), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


  • Source: Scopus
  • Calculated based on no. of publications stored in Pure and citations from Scopus

Research output per year

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Personal profile


Professor Nigel Laing was born in Scotland and obtained both his BSc (Hons) in Pharmacology (1976) and PhD in Physiology (1979) from the University of Edinburgh. He spent one year as a Post-doc at the University of Oslo (1980) before coming to The University of Western Australia in January 1981.

His PhD and early career research was as a developmental neurobiologist investigating how motor neurons and muscles interact and determine each other's properties in the developing embryo. For a 12-month period, July 1987 to June 1988, Professor Laing re-trained in molecular genetics with Professor Teepu Siddique in Professor Allen Roses' Laboratory at Duke University North Carolina.

Returning to Western Australia in 1988, Professor Laing had the two tasks of developing molecular neurogenetic research and molecular neurogenetic diagnostics at The Australian Neuromuscular Research Institute and Royal Perth Hospital respectively.  He successfully investigated Australian families with mostly dominantly inherited diseases, playing a role in identifying mutations in SOD1 as a cause of familial motor neuron disease, mutations in tropomyosin as the first known cause of nemaline myopathy, mutations in actin as a major cause of severe congenital myopathies of various types and mutations in myosin as the cause of "Laing" myopathy.

In recent years, Professor Laing has moved the focus of his research to prevention genetics through three research themes:

1)       Reproductive carrier screening

2)       Development of improved diagnostics

3)       Development of treatments for genetic muscle diseases.

In 2015 Professor Laing was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences and was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in the General Division (AO).

Education/Academic qualification

Award Date: 6 Oct 2015

Award Date: 14 Dec 2010

Award Date: 6 Aug 2002

University of Edinburgh

Award Date: 23 Dec 1979

University of Edinburgh

Award Date: 13 Jul 1976

External positions

Scientific Director, Neurogenetics Unit, Department of Diagnostic Genomics

Research expertise keywords

  • Neurogenetics
  • Neuromuscular diseases
  • Molecular genetics
  • Gene mapping
  • Gene discovery
  • Genetic therapy
  • carrier screening


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