MND research trucking along

26 Aug 2019

UQ School of Biomedical Sciences researchers will apply for a share of a new $200,000 grant for Motor Neurone Disease (MND) research, thanks to a partnership between transport insurance specialist National Transport Insurance (NTI) and the MND and Me Foundation.

Dr Steyn, Dr Ngo, NTI CEO Tony Clark and MND and Me Foundation CEO Paul Olds

Dr Frederik Steyn and Dr Shyuan Ngo, who share affiliations with the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN) and Queensland Brain Institute (QBI), represented MND researchers at the cheque presentation last week.

Dr Steyn said MND research was producing tangible results for those affected by the disease.

"This particular kind of contribution has a big impact, even before the money is spent on research,” he said.

"The awareness that comes from this creates a lot of hope. So, five, ten years ago when you were diagnosed with MND, it was a very difficult diagnosis to process, as little could be done to help people with MND.

"MND is still a terrible diagnosis, but now, when people join research, they leave the clinic with more hope. That's uplifting.”

Dr Ngo said that if their grant application was successful, a significant proportion of the money would be used in the lab to grow stem cells in neurons similar to those found in the brain and spinal cord, so researchers can study why these cells might be dying in those living with MND.

NTI established the Truck Restoration Series following the passing of their late CEO from MND.

A nationwide raffle of a restored 1946 Ford Jailbar truck raised $100,000 for the research grant, which was then matched by NTI.

"At NTI, we decided we should match what was raised through the raffle and that took the grant from $100,000 to over $200,000," said NTI CEO, Tony Clark.

"We were delighted to do that to support a great cause and that support is ongoing – next year we plan to restore another truck to raise funds," Mr Clark said.

Media: Dr Frederik Steyn,, +61 7 3346 5555; Dr Shyuan Ngo,; Faculty of Medicine Communications,, +61 7 3365 5118.