NZ Research Gets International Audience

Dr Anower Jabed at work in the lab in the Centre for Brain Research

A molecular biologist who is now a member of the Centre for Brain Research was part of a team of scientists who have today unveiled a discovery which may go on to have huge implications for New Zealand’s diary industry, and for those living with milk protein allergies.

Dr Anower Jabed, who is currently applying his expertise to the study of cannabinoid CB2 receptors in the human brain, as part of the Receptor Signalling Laboratory, was involved in the project to produce a dairy cow whose milk was missing a protein identified as a major allergen.

The team used RNA interference techniques to produce a transgenic calf and later induced lactation, which confirmed that the allergen, beta-lactaglobulin (BLG) was not present in the milk.  The results of their research are about to be published in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, one of the world’s most-cited academic journals.

Associate Professor Michelle Glass and Dr E Scott Graham, who supervise Anower’s current research, believe his advanced molecular biology skills are already shining through in the CB2 project, which attempts to determine the distribution of these receptors in the brain.  “He has made amazing progress in the time he has been with us,” says Michelle,  “and our results are sufficiently promising so far that we are hoping to extend the project for another year, with support from the Auckland Medical Research Foundation, who helped us get the project off the ground.”

News of the research has been featured on websites around the world today –  click on the links below to find out more.