A researcher from the Queensland Brain Institute working to find a treatment for Motor Neurone Disease will receive a grant funded by a record-breaking vintage truck raffle.
An impressive $580,000 was raised for the 2024 NTI MND Research Grant through raffling off a restored hot-lava orange 1950s Chevrolet truck named Daphne.
The University of Queensland’s Dr Rebecca San Gil will use the grant to continue her research into MND, specifically looking at how repairing damaged proteins can stop or slow the disease.
“Disease onset in all cases of MND involves the accumulation of damaged proteins that stick together. The proposed research program will take advantage of new genetic engineering and imaging techniques to shine the light on a target protein that refolds and disposes of damaged proteins in human neurons,” she said.
“My experiments will demonstrate whether refolding damaged protein back into a functional protein can slow or stop disease progression. This work will help develop therapies for people living with MND.”
Daphne was the sixth vehicle to be restored and raffled by Australia’s largest specialist insurance provider, NTI, and brings the total raised by the organisation for MND research to $2 million over six years.
Queenslander Peter Rodney was lucky enough to have his name pulled out when the raffle was drawn at the NTI Supercars round in Townsville earlier this year.
NTI began funding MND research after their former CEO Wayne Patterson lost his battle with the disease in 2019.
NTI’s current CEO Tony Clark said funding MND research was a cause the organisation would continue to support.
“Each day in Australia, two people die from MND and another two are diagnosed. We wanted to take a proactive approach to bettering the lives of MND sufferers, and to help fund research into finding an effective treatment.
“Daphne raised an incredible $580,000, a new record for the most funds raised of any of NTI’s restored vehicles. We look forward to continuing to support researchers like Dr Rebecca San Gil now and into the future so a cure can be found for MND.”
NTI’s grant is delivered through not-for-profit MND and Me Foundation.
MND and Me CEO Jane Milne said: “This is just one of the MND Research Grants funded from the proceeds of raffling Daphne and it is great to see the impact that the raffle and NTI’s support of MND research can have across a wide range of research areas,” Milne said.
“MND Research in Queensland is in a very strong position because of NTI and their continued commitment to helping us find a cure.”