Dr Linda Ly
The Power of Proteomics in MS
many people, deciding which career path to embark upon once high school
finishes can be confusing and daunting. But not so for Dr Linda Ly, a
Postdoctoral Research Associate of Medicine, Central Clinical School at the
University of Sydney. It was clear that science, specifically proteomics, was
destined to be her professional passion when the final school bell rang.
high school and choosing what courses to enrol in at university made me realise
I wasn’t really interested in anything else except science. I undertook a
Bachelor of Science degree in Biotechnology at the University of New South
Wales and it was during my Honours year, the final year of my undergraduate
degree that my interest grew in the budding field of proteomics; a discipline
that involves the systematic study of all proteins within biological systems
such as cells, tissues and fluids. Realising the potential of proteomic tools
and techniques to answer biological questions, I then pursued a PhD following
my undergraduate studies at the same university learning more about proteomics
and how to identify and quantify the many hundreds of proteins present in biological
Ly works with Dr Michael Barnett and Dr Ben Crossett at the University of
Sydney, along with research assistant Ms Twishi Gulati. The Trish Foundation is
proud to be funding Dr Ly’s Post Doctoral Fellowship which aims to better
understand the repair mechanisms in multiple sclerosis (MS).
MS, symptoms correlate with focal areas of inflammation and demyelination - a
process where myelin, the fatty tissue that normally wraps around the axons, is
destroyed - in the brain and spinal cord. Remyelination is a process where the
damaged fatty myelin sheaths surrounding the nerves are repaired, which plays a
critical role in remission of the neurological symptoms that characterise MS.
However, there is a progressive failure of this repair process as the length of
time a person has had MS increases, which contributes to irreversible
Ly explains further: “This project aims to use proteomic techniques to discover
and characterise the proteins that are important in the repair of the central
nervous system and its failure. The identification of these proteins may lead
to more effective treatments to promote the processes of repair in MS.”
a post-doctoral researcher within the MS research team at the University of
Sydney, Dr Ly has presented at MS conferences in Australia and internationally.
She has also had post-doctoral work, detailing a comprehensive proteomic
methodology in processing MS tissue, published in peer-reviewed publication, Journal of Proteome Research.
a busy work schedule that includes planning and performing experiments
including data analysis, drafting manuscripts for publications, reading journal
articles to inform her work, and supervising students in their projects, it’s
hard to imagine Dr Ly has any ‘spare time’ to enjoy her passions beyond
she manages to squeeze in French studies at TAFE (“definitely a challenge but
enjoyable!”) and hopes to put her language skills to the test one day by
travelling around France. She also enjoys shopping, going to the movies and
spending time with her family which “usually involves a lot of eating!”.
Ly believes the holy grail of MS research is to find what causes the disease
and understand the entire disease process. She says it’s the challenge of such
a complex disease, with many things not yet discovered about it that keeps her
so passionate her work in MS.
are still searching to discover what causes MS and why some people are
susceptible. It’s the drive to find the missing pieces of the puzzle, no matter
how small, that could give us a better understanding of the biological or
disease processes of MS. It’s this thirst for knowledge that could lead to
better treatments, prevention and a cure.”