Professor Sue Fletcher
PhD (conferred), Bachelor of Science Honours (conferred)

Principal Research Fellow

About me

I completed my first degree at the University of Zimbabwe and a PhD at the University of Western Australia in Perth, where I worked for 24 years until I relocated to Murdoch University in 2013.  I am a Principal Research Fellow working with Steve Wilton on developing antisense therapies for inherited disorders, a collaboration that has endured for 20 years.

Our group pioneered antisense oligomer induced exon skipping to overcome dystrophin mutations that cause Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and have developed antisense oligomers to skip each of the 79 dystrophin exon, except the first and last.  Although not all dystrophin mutations are amenable to exon skipping intervention, and the potential improvements will depend upon the nature and location of the mutation, we believe that oligomer strategies should be developed for all patients who could benefit, not just those with common mutations.

The group are now exploring ways to overcome DMD-causing non-deletion mutations, including duplications and extending the technology to other inherited neuromuscular disorders, including spinal muscular atrophy.  I have contributed to both undergraduate and postgraduate teaching programs throughout my academic career and engaged with community and special interest groups by speaking about our work.

Teaching area

2006 – Present

  • School of Biomedical, Biomolecular and Chemical Sciences, University of Western Australia
  • Graduate Entry Medical programme: lectures Differentiation and Genetic Medicine
  • Graduate Entry Pharmacy programme

2002 – Present

  • School of Biomedical, Biomolecular and Chemical Sciences, University of Western Australia
  • Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Medicine Podiatry and Dental Sciences, University of Western Australia: lectures The life cycle of cells, Differentiation, Genetic Medicine, The Human Genome Project

2002

  • Teaching symposium on Cloning, Transgenic and Stem Cell Technology, Murdoch University

2001 – 2004

  • Pathology P304, University of Western Australia, lectures Genetic Medicine

1992 – 2000

  • Department of Biochemistry, University of Western Australia, Literature based units Medicine (MED 235)
  • Department of Biochemistry, University of Western Australia, lecture DNA fingerprinting laboratory class

1991 – Present

  • Lecturer, undergraduate medicine and science in the areas of biochemistry and molecular biology and postgraduate pharmacy at the University of Western Australia

Research areas

  • Molecular genetics
  • Antisense oligonucleotide technologies
  • Gene Therapy, Genetic Therapies
  • Exon skipping
  • Splice switching
  • Muscle repair and regeneration
  • Inherited neuromuscular diseases
  • Duchenne muscular dystrophy
  • Spinal muscular atrophy

Current projects

2014 – 2016

NHMRC Grant ID: 1062740

Investigators: Hool L, Fletcher S, Wilton SD

Project Title:  The L-type calcium as a reporter of successful morpholino oligomer therapy in treatment of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy cardiomyopathy

 

2013 – 2015

Sarepta Therapeutics Contract Research

Investigators: Wilton SD, Fletcher S

Project Title: Developing a splice switching therapy to correct a common defect in GAA causing adult onset Glycogen storage disease II

 

2013 – 2015

Sarepta Therapeutics Contract Research

Investigators: Wilton SD, Fletcher S

Project Title: Correlation study: PMO relative activity ranking in DMD patient myoblasts and normal myoblasts

 

2013 – 2017

NHMRC European Union

Investigators: Nolan D, Hammond E, Wilon SD, Fletcher S, Mallal S, Bellgard MI, Dawkins H, Goldblatt J, Baynam G, Weeramanthri T

Project Title: RD-CONNECT: An integrated platform connecting registries, biobanks and clinical bioinformatics for rare disease research

 

2013 – 2016

MDA USA

Investigators: Wilton SD, Fletcher S, Bellgard MI

Project Title: Oligomer design & validation for DMD: quantum improvements in exon skipping

 

2013

Multiple Sclerosis Research Australia

Investigators: Wilton SD, Fletcher S

Project Title: Antisense oligomer induced suppression of target genes implicated in Multiple Sclerosis

 

2013 – 2015

NHMRC Grant ID: 1043758

Investigators: Bellgard MI, Wilton SD, Fletcher S

Project Title: Optimization of splice switching therapies to treat Duchenne muscular dystrophy

Awards and grants

AWARDS

2013

Awarded Eureka Prize for Medical Research Translation

2012

Awarded Western Australian Innovator of the Year 2012 (Fletcher, Wilton, UWA)

 

CURRENT GRANTS 

2014 – 2016

NHMRC Grant ID: 1062740

Investigators: Hool L, Fletcher S, Wilton SD

Project Title:  The L-type calcium as a reporter of successful morpholino oligomer therapy in treatment of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy cardiomyopathy

 

2013 – 2015                                                                                                    

Sarepta Therapeutics Contract Research 

Investigators: Wilton SD, Fletcher S

Project Title: Developing a splice switching therapy to correct a common defect in GAA causing adult onset Glycogen storage disease II

 

2013 – 2015                                                                                                    

Sarepta Therapeutics Contract Research 

Investigators: Wilton SD, Fletcher S

Project Title: Correlation study: PMO relative activity ranking in DMD patient myoblasts and normal myoblasts

 

2013 – 2017

NHMRC European Union 

Investigators: Nolan D, Hammond E, Wilon SD, Fletcher S, Mallal S, Bellgard MI, Dawkins H, Goldblatt J, Baynam G, Weeramanthri T

Project Title: RD-CONNECT: An integrated platform connecting registries, biobanks and clinical bioinformatics for rare disease research

 

2013 – 2016                                                                                                    

MDA USA 

Investigators: Wilton SD, Fletcher S, Bellgard MI

Project Title: Oligomer design & validation for DMD: quantum improvements in exon skipping

 

2013                                                                                                             

Multiple Sclerosis Research Australia 

Investigators: Wilton SD, Fletcher S

Project Title: Antisense oligomer induced suppression of target genes implicated in Multiple Sclerosis

 

2013 – 2015

NHMRC Grant ID: 1043758

Investigators: Bellgard MI, Wilton SD, Fletcher S

Project Title: Optimization of splice switching therapies to treat Duchenne muscular dystrophy

 

PREVIOUS GRANTS 

2012

MDWA -Team Spencer 

Investigators: Wilton SD, Fletcher S

PhD Scholarship Loren Price

 

2011

UWA Research Development Awards 2011 

Investigators: Adkin C, Wilton SD, Fletcher S

Project Title: Bypassing mutations in the S region of the Dystrophin gene by promoting alternative translation initiation codons using antisense oligonucleotides

 

2010-2012

Duchenne Ireland 

Investigators: Wilton SD, Fletcher S, Ohlendieck, Adkin C

Project Title: Personalized Exon skipping Strategies for the treatment of DMD

 

2010-2012

NHMRC Grant ID: 634485

Investigators: Wilton SD, Fletcher S, Pinniger G

Project Title: Definition of dystrophin functional domains according to exon boundaries to optimize splice switching therapies for DMD

 

2010 – 2012

SMA Australia

Investigators: Wilton SD, Fletcher S

 

2010-2011

SMA Europe – AFM

Investigators: Wilton SD, Fletcher S

Project Title:  Antisense oligomer induced restoration of SMN expression as a therapy for Spinal Muscular Atrophy

 

2010

AFM 

Investigators: Wilton SD, Fletcher S

Project Title: Suppression of DUX4 protein expression by antisense strategies

 

2010

Sir Charles Gardiner Hospital 

Investigators: Wilton SD, Fletcher S

Project Title: Cell Banking for Western Australian Patients with DMD

 

2009 – 2013

NIH  Grant ID: 2R01 NSO44146-05A1

Investigators: Wilton SD, Fletcher S

Project Title: Antisense oligonucleotide suppression of non-deletion DMD causing mutations

 

2009-2011

Gavriel Meir Trust

Investigators: Wilton SD, Fletcher S

Project Title: Exon Skipping project focusing on out-of-frame duplications

 

2009

Suneel’s Light 

Investigators: Wilton SD, Fletcher S

Project Title: Developing Exon Skipping strategies for Duchenne muscular dystrophy

 

2008-2010

The James & Matthew Grant Foundation 

Investigators: Wilton SD, Fletcher S

Project Title: Refinement of exon skipping strategies to address mutations occurring in functional domains

 

2007-2010

MDA USA Grant ID: MDA4352

Investigators: Wilton SD, Fletcher S

Project Title: Refined AO design for enhanced dystrophin exon skipping.

 

2007-2009

Charley’s Fund Inc.

Investigators: Wilton SD, Fletcher S

Project Title: The treatment or prevention of DMD or any other muscular dystrophy.

 

2007-2009

Muscular Dystrophy Ireland 

Investigators: Wilton SD, Fletcher S

Project Title: Refinement of exon skipping strategies to address mutations occurring in functional domains of dystrophin

 

2006-2008

Parent Project United Kingdom

Investigators: Wilton SD, Fletcher S

Project Title: Demonstration of Antisense Oligonucleotide induced exon skipping in human muscle.

 

2004-2006

NHMRC Grant ID: 303216

Investigators: Wilton SD, Fletcher S

Project Title: Therapeutic induction of dystrophin positive revertant fibres in the mdx mouse

 

2004-2006

MDA USA Grant ID: MDA3718

Investigators: Wilton SD, Fletcher S

Project Title: Reducing the severity of DMD by redirecting pre-mRNA splicing.

 

2003-2007

NIH Grant ID: 1 R01 NS044146-02

Investigators: Wilton SD, Fletcher S

Project Title: Antisense oligonucleotide suppression of DMD

 

2002-2004

action benni & co e.v. PP (Germany)

Investigators: Wilton SD, Fletcher S

Project Title: Antisense oligonucleotide modifications to enhance specific exon skipping.

 

2001-2003

NHMRC Grant ID: 139041

Investigators: Wilton SD, Fletcher S

Project Title: Minimizing consequences of DMD mutations using antisense oligonucleotides.

 

2001-2003

MDA USA Grant ID: MDA3099

Investigators: Wilton SD, Fletcher S

Project Title: Antisense oligonucleotide based genetic therapy for DMD

 

2001

MEDWA 

Investigators: Wilton SD, Fletcher S

Project Title: Minimising the consequences of point mutations in the dystrophin gene

 

2000

MEDWA

Investigators: Wilton SD, Fletcher S

Project Title: Overcoming point mutations in the dystrophin gene

 

1998-2000

MDA USA Grant ID: MDA2527

Investigators: Wilton SD, Fletcher S

Project Title: Suppressing the gene defects in Muscular Dystrophy

 

1997-1999

NHMRC Grant ID: 970134

Investigators: Wilton SD, Fletcher S, Howell JMC, Kakulas BA

Project Title: Experimental gene therapy for the treatment of a model of DMD

 

Events and speaking engagements

2014

  • Griffiths University “Gene therapy seminar: A clinical trial updated on Exon skipping and Duchenne muscular dystrophy” 4 Feb 2014 Brisbane, Australia
  • MDWA The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award 9 “Research & Science the impact of the condition” April 2014 Perth, Australia
  • 16th Annual TIDES Oligonucleotide and Peptide Therapeutics From Research through Commercialisation “Targeted Therapeutic Alternative Splicing” 12-15th May 2014, Rhode Island, USA
  • PAG Asia “Antisense mediated exon selection to alter gene expression in human diseases” 19-21 May 2014 Singapore.
  • Telethon Kids Institute Child Health Research Seminar “Antisense mediated exon selection to treat human disease” 25 July 2014 Perth, Australia.

2013                

  • The 34th Annual Lorne Genome Conference “Antisense suppression of donor splice site mutations in the dystrophin gene transcript” 17-19Feb, Victoria Australia.
  • Rotary West Perth “Eteplirsen:
a treatment for Duchenne muscular dystrophy” February, Perth Australia.
  • 8th Australasian Gene Therapy Society Meeting “PMO-mediated dystrophin exon 23 skipping restores mitochondrial function in the mdx heart” 8-10 May 2013, Sydney, Australia
  •  KTRCD Seminar “Antisense therapy for inherited neuromuscular disorders” 30 Sep, University of Kentucky, Lexington USA.
  • Action Duchenne “PMO-mediated dystrophin exon 23 skipping restores mitochondrial function in the mdx heart” 9 Oct, London UK.

2012

  • Muscular Dystrophy Foundation International Symposium: Antisense therapies for DMD and SMA.  Nepali Muscular dystrophy Foundation. April 2012, Kathmandu.
  • World Muscle Society. “Dystrophin isoforms with incomplete eta dystroglycan and syntrophin binding domains retain partial function”. Pathology and Laboratory Medicine seminar series. 9-13 October 2012, Western Australia.
  • RD Connect Inaugural Workshop. 8 October 2012, Western Australia.
  • West Australian Institute of Medical Research (WAIMR) Seminar Series. “Antisense oligomer therapies for neuromuscular disorders”. October 2012, Western Australia.

2011

  • SMA Gene, Respiratory & Movement Seminar. “Genetic therapies for SMA when, which treatment and what benefit?” 9 August 2011, Queens College University of Melbourne, Australia.
  • RNA & Oligonucleotide Therapeutics, “Transient mouse models for the preclinical evaluation of therapeutic dystrophin exon skipping strategies”. 4-7 December 2011, Cold Spring Harbor, New York, USA.
  • UWA – Bangkok Research Collaboration Meeting. “Splice-switching as a treatment for inherited disorders”. November 2011, Bangkok.
  • 16th International Congress of the World Muscle Society. “Transient mouse models for the preclinical evaluation of therapeutic dystrophin exon skipping strategies”. 18-22 October 2011, Portugal.
  • Australasian Gene Therapy Society. “Transient mouse models for the preclinical evaluation of therapeutic dystrophin exon skipping strategies”. 4-6 May 2011, Victoria Australia.
  • Lorne Genome Conference. “Transient mouse models for the preclinical evaluation of therapeutic dystrophin exon skipping strategies”. 13-15 February 2011, Victoria Australia.

2010

  • World Muscle Society, “Concurrent Administration of Prednisolone and Peptide conjugated PMOs is not contra-indicated in the MDX Mouse”. 15 October 2010, Kumomoto Japan.
  • OzBio. “Induced non-productive splicing to study muscle gene expression and Exon skipping in induced nonproductive splicing to study muscle gene expression”. 26 September – 1 October 2010, Melbourne, Australia.
  • MD2010 Connect Learn Share, “Evaluating new therapies & Clinical Trials: Why, when, which treatment and what benefit?”. 9-10 September 2010, Perth Western Australia.
  • Pathology Updates, Royal College of Pathologists Australasia, “Splice-Switching as a Treatment for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy”. 26-28 February 2010, Melbourne, Australia.

2009                

  • The Microbiology Seminar Series. Splice Switching as a Treatment for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.” 18 September 2009, Perth, Australia. 
  • 10th Australasian Tissue Banking Forum Scientific, “Splice Switching as a Treatment for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.” 5-8 May 2009, South Perth, Australia.
  • HGSA, “Splice Switching as a Treatment for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy & “Induced non-productive splicing to study muscle gene expression.” 2-6 May 2009, Fremantle, Australia.
  • Australasian Gene Therapy Society 6th Meeting, “Induced non-productive splicing to study muscle gene expression.” 29 April – 1 May 2009, Sydney, Australia.
  • LIWA 2009 Lung and Biological Science Symposium, 12-13 March 2009, Perth, Australia.
  • Indian Ocean Rim Muscle Colloquium 2009. “Induced nonproductive splicing to study gene expression.” 21-23 January 2009, Perth Australila.

2008    

  • Muscular Dystrophy Foundation Nepal 3rd Seminar in International Level on Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Disables. “Muscle biology genes and disease. Therapies for muscular dystrophy: an overview.” 8-9 November 2008, Nepal.
  • World Muscle Society, “Induced exon skipping in normal and mdx muscle” and “Characterisation of a complex DMD-causing dystrophin gene inversion and restoration of the reading frame by induced exon skipping” 29 September – 2 October 2008 Newcastle, UK.
  • Bio International Convention, “New Therapeutic Modalities:  Opportunities and Challenges.” 17-20 June 2008, San Diego, USA.

2007    

  • Combio, Sydney, Australia, “Splicing manipulation for the treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy”, 22-26 September 2007.
  • Australasian Gene Therapy Society, Gene Delivery and Control, Canberra, Australia, 18-20 April 2007. “Morpholino oligomer mediated exon skipping averts the onset of dystrophic pathology in the mdx mouse”.
  • MD2007, Moving Ahead, Perth, Western Australia, 13-14 April 2007. ‘Molecular strategies to treat muscular dystrophy.’
  • 27th Lorne Genome Conference, Victoria, Australia, 12-15 February 2007. ‘Systemic dystrophin expression in the mdx mouse: Morphs make more sense.’

2006    

  • Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy Australia, Turning the Tide, Brisbane Queensland, 27-29 October, 2006. ‘Genetic Therapies.
  • Lotterywest Forum, The impact of the Genomic Era on Society, Perth, Western Australia, 24 October, 2006. ‘A molecular therapy for muscular dystrophy.
  • Lorne Genome Conference, Lorne, Victoria, Australia, 12-15 February 2006. ‘Systemic Dystrophin Expression in the MDX Mouse: Morphs Make More Sense.’
  • Genetic Research Academic Industry Partnership Conference, Perth, Australia, 3-4 August 2006. ‘Morpholino Antisense Oligonucleotide Induced Dystrophin Expression in the mdx Mouse.’

2005    

  • 4th Australasian Gene Therapy Society, Melbourne Australia, 27-29th April 2005. ‘In vivo Restoration of Dystrophin Expression.’
  • Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy Annual Conference, Cincinnati, USA, 8-10th July, 2005. ‘Antisense exon skipping workshop.’
  • MD2005, Perth, Western Australia, 15-16th July, 2005. ‘Molecular Therapies for Muscular Dystrophy: an Overview.’
  • Lions Eye Institute Seminar Series, Perth Western Australia, October 2005. ‘In vivo restoration of dystrophin expression by morpholino antisense oligonucleotides’

2004                              

  • Directions for Muscular Dystrophy Conference, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, Australia, 16-17th July 2004. ‘Molecular therapies for the treatment of Muscular Dystrophy.’
  • Human Genetics Society of Australia Annual Meeting & GenesWest, Fremantle, Western Australia, 11-13th August, 2004. ‘Manipulating gene expression using antisense oligonucleotides – a strategy to bypass disease-causing mutations.”
  • 9th World Muscle Society Meeting, Gothenberg Sweden, September 2004. ‘Preferred antisense oligonucleotide chemistries to overcome dystrophin mutations.’
  • Biochemistry Seminar, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia, 17 October 2004. ‘Manipulating gene expression using antisense oligonucleotides – a strategy to bypass disease causing mutations.’

2003                              

  • The XIX International Congress of Genetics, Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre, Genomes, The Linkage of Life, Victoria, Australia, 6-11 July 2003. ‘Redirecting pre-mrna splicing using antisense oligonucleotides.’
  •  MD2003, Perth, Western Australia 9-10 May, 2003. ‘Converting DMD to BMD: a genetic medicine.’
  • 3rd Meeting of Australasian Gene Therapy Society, Queensland Institute of Medical Research, Brisbane, Australia, 30 April–2 May 2003. ‘Morpholino antisense oligonucleotides for inducing exon skipping.’
  • Neurological Expo, The Neurological Council of Western Australia Inc., 11-13 November 2003. ‘Stem cells – a 20th Century Panacea?’

 2002                              

  • Western Australian Reproductive Technology Council in conjunction with Murdoch University, Cloning, stem cell research and transgenics, 24 May 2002.  ‘Embryonic stem cells and the fountain of youth – fact or fantasy.’
  • XIX International Congress of Genetics, Melbourne, Australia 6-11 July 2003.  ‘Redirecting pre-mRNA splicing using antisense oligonucleotides’.
  • ABC Radio broadcast, Perth, Western Australia, 11th November 2003. ‘Stem Cells’
  • Neurological Expo, The Neurological Council of Western Australia Inc. Perth, Western Australia, 11-13 November 2003.  ‘Stem cells-a 20th Century Panacea?’. 

 

2001                              

  • Rocky Bay Carers Group, Media Interview (Press)
  • Muscular Dystrophy Association, Media Interview (Press)
  • Australasian Gene Therapy Society 2nd Meeting, The Centenary Institute of Cancer Medicine and Cell Biology, Sydney, Australia, 27-29 April 2001. ‘Cryptic Splicing involving the splice site mutation in the Canine Model of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.’

1999    

  • Inaugural Meeting of the Australian Gene Therapy Society, The Murdoch Institute, Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne, Australia, 22-23 February 1999.  ‘Gene Therapy Trials in Golden Retriever Muscular Dystrophy.’

1998     

  • ANRI Symposium on Gene Therapy and Neuromuscular Disorders, Perth Western Australia, 28 August 1998. ‘Gene Therapy Trials in the GRMD Model.’
  • Muscle & Nerve, IX International Congress on Neuromuscular Diseases, Movement Along the Final Common Pathway, Adelaide, Australia, 30 August – 4 September 1998. ‘Evidence for Multiple Functions of Pax7.’

1997    

  • The Boden Conference on Gene Therapy, Thredbo, Victoria, Australia, 4-7 February 1997. ‘Use of the Golden Retriever Dog Model for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy in Gene Therapy Trials.’
  • 8th Annual Combined Biological Sciences Meeting, Fremantle, Western Australia, 15 August 1997. ‘Evidence that Pax7 contains two Polymorphic Homeoboxes, One of which has a rearrangement associated with enhanced skeletal muscle regrowth.’
  • XIII International Congress of Neuropathology, Brain Pathology, Perth, Western Australia, 7-12 September 1997. ‘Rearrangement Associated with Enhanced Skeletal Muscle Regrowth.’ 

1995    

  • Combined Biological Sciences Meeting, Fremantle, Western Australia, 4 August 1995. ‘Snap-Back SSCP: Specific introduction of Conformational Changes for Mutation Detection.’
  • The 5th Annual Queenstown Molecular Biology Meeting, Queenstown, New Zealand, 13-18 August 1995. ‘Snap-Back SSCP: Specific introduction of Conformational Changes for Mutation Detection.’

1992    

  • Combined Biological Sciences Meeting, Mount Claremont, Perth, Western Australia, 24 July 1992. ‘Northern Analysis of Regenerative Activity in Crush Injured and Dystrophic (mdx) Muscle.’
  • The Genome Conference, 14th Annual Conference on the Organisation and Expression of the Genome, Lorne, Victoria, Australia, 17-21 February 1992. ‘Northern Analysis of Regenerative Activity in Crush Injured and Dystrophic (mdx) Muscle.’

1991     

  • Molecular Biology of Muscle, Society for Experimental Biology, Symposium, University of Birmingham, UK, 9-12 September 1991. ‘Quantitation of Growth and Regenerative Activity in Skeletal Muscle.’

Professional and community service

Professional Memberships     

  • Human Genetics Society of Australasia
  • Australian Gene Therapy Society
  • World Muscle Society

 Volunteering and Community Memberships          

  • Muscular Dystrophy Western Australia
  • Quokka Kids Club and ‘What’s the Point’ Camp (Camp Volunteer)
  • Australian Neuromuscular Research Institute Postgraduate Student Coordinator 2000-2003
  • Committee Member, FOSS, Guildford Grammar School
  • Guildford Grammar School Art Supporters Exhibition (Volunteer)

Committee Involvement & Conference Organisation

  • Member of the University of Western Australia Institutional Biosafety Committee
  • Member of the Scientific Review Committee of Telethon Institute of Child Health Research
  • MD2012 Conference, Perth. Member of the oganising committee for a muscular dystrophy conference linking healthcare professionals, researchers and the public
  • RD Connect workshop, Perth. Member of the organizing committee
  • MD2010 Conference, Perth. Member of the oganising committee for a muscular dystrophy conference linking healthcare professionals, researchers and the public
  • MD2007 Conference, Perth. Member of the oganising committee for a muscular dystrophy conference linking healthcare professionals, researchers and the public
  • MD2005 Conference, Perth. Member of the oganising committee for a muscular dystrophy conference linking healthcare professionals, researchers and the public
  • MD2003 Conference, Perth. Member of the oganising committee for a muscular dystrophy conference linking healthcare professionals, researchers and the public
  • Combined Biological Sciences Meeting (CBSM), Perth. Member of the organising committee. (Treasurer 2003-2006). Conference to bright together biological scientists for all disciplines and to promote and encourage research excellence amongst younger researchers, including students.

Doctoral and masters supervisions

PhD Students

2013 – Present              Ianthe Pitout, Murdoch University

2012 – Present              Loren Price, UWA

2010 – 2014                 Lucy Barrett, UWA

2010 – 2013                 Robyn Luo, UWA

2005 – 2012                 Mitrpant Chalermchai, Edith Cowan University

2009-2012                   Arada Rojana-udomsart , UWA

2006-2010                   Rachel Duff, UWA

2004-2006                   Graham McClorey, UWA

2000-2003                   Stephen Errington, Edith Cowan University

2000-2003                   Christopher Mann, UWA

1997-2001                   Marie McCluskey, Edith Cowan University

 

BSc Honours Students

2013                          Charles Toh, Anatomy Physiology & Human Biology, UWA (1st Class)

2012                          Soma Amin, Genetics (Biochemistry) UWA, (2A)

2009                          Lucy Barrett, Genetics, UWA (1st Class)

2008                          Leah Stone, UWA (1st Class)

2007                          Naoibh McLoughlin, Genetics, UWA

2006                          Heidi Madden, Genetics, UWA (1st Class)

2006                          Catherine Coleman, UWA (1st Class)

2005                          Mathew Welch, Murdoch University (2A)

2003                          Clint Johnson, Pathology, UWA, (1st Class)

2003                          Sara Thean, Genetics, UWA (2A)

2002                          David Martino, Anatomy and Human Biology, UWA, (2A)

2002                          Bianca Gebski, Pathology, UWA (2A)

2001                          Mark Cruickshank, Pathology, UWA (1st Class)

1999                          Hayley Durling, Edith Cowan University (1st Class)

1994                          Rolee Kumar, Murdoch University (2A)

1992                          David Darragh, Pathology, UWA (2B)

1991                          Ricky Lareau, Pathology, UWA (2A)

Publications

Book Chapters

  • Adkin C, Fletcher S and Wilton SD, Optimizing splice-switching oligomer sequences using 2′-O-methyl phosphorothioate chemistry, pp. 169-188 in Methods Mol Biol.

Fully Refereed Reviews

  • Barrett LW, Fletcher S and Wilton SD (2012) Regulation of eukaryotic gene expression by the untranslated gene regions and other non-coding elements. Cell Mol Life Sci 69: 3613-3634.
  • Wilton SD, and Fletcher S (2011) RNA splicing manipulation: strategies to modify gene expression for a variety of therapeutic outcomes. Curr Gene Ther 11: 259-275.
  • Laing NG, Davis MR, Bayley K, Fletcher S and Wilton SD (2011) Molecular diagnosis of duchenne muscular dystrophy: past, present and future in relation to implementing therapies. Clin Biochem Rev 32: 129-134.
  • Wilton SD, and Fletcher S (2010) Splice modification to restore functional dystrophin synthesis in Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Curr Pharm Des 16: 988-1001.
  • Mitrpant C, Fletcher S and Wilton SD (2009) Personalised genetic intervention for Duchenne muscular dystrophy: antisense oligomers and exon skipping. Curr Mol Pharmacol 2: 110-121.
  • Wilton SD, and Fletcher S (2008) Exon skipping and Duchenne muscular dystrophy: hope, hype and how feasible? Neurol India 56: 254-262.
  • Wilton SD, and Fletcher S (2006) Redirecting splicing to address dystrophin mutations: molecular by-pass surgery. Prog Mol Subcell Biol 44: 161-197.
  • Wilton SD, and Fletcher S (2006) Modification of pre-mRNA processing: application to dystrophin expression. Curr Opin Mol Ther 8: 130-135.
  • Wilton SD, and Fletcher S (2005) Antisense oligonucleotides, exon skipping and the dystrophin gene transcript. Acta Myol 24: 222-229.
  • Wilton SD, and Fletcher S (2005) RNA splicing manipulation: strategies to modify gene expression for a variety of therapeutic outcomes. Curr Gene Ther 5: 467-483.
  • McClorey G, Fletcher S and Wilton S (2005) Splicing intervention for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Curr Opin Pharmacol 5: 529-534.
  • Fletcher S, Wilton SD and Howell JM (2000) Gene therapy and molecular approaches to the treatment of hereditary muscular disorders. Curr Opin Neurol 13: 553-560.

Fully Refereed Journals

  • Wilton SD, Fletcher S and Flanigan KM (2014) Dystrophin as a therapeutic biomarker: Are we ignoring data from the past? Neuromuscul Disord 24: 463-466.
  • Greer KL, Lochmuller H, Flanigan K, Fletcher S and Wilton SD (2014) Targeted exon skipping to correct exon duplications in the dystrophin gene. Mol Ther Nucleic Acids 3: e155.
  • Pigozzo SR, Da Re L, Romualdi C, Mazzara PG, Galletta E, Fletcher S, Wilton SD and Vitiello L (2013) Revertant fibers in the mdx murine model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy: an age- and muscle-related reappraisal. PLoS One 8: e72147.
  • Mitrpant C, Porensky P, Zhou H, Price L, Muntoni F, Fletcher S, Wilton SD and Burghes AH (2013) Improved antisense oligonucleotide design to suppress aberrant SMN2 gene transcript processing: towards a treatment for spinal muscular atrophy. PLoS One 8: e62114.
  • Luo YB, Mitrpant C, Johnsen RD, Fabian VA, Fletcher S, Mastaglia FL and Wilton SD (2013) Investigation of age-related changes in LMNA splicing and expression of progerin in human skeletal muscles. Int J Clin Exp Pathol 6: 2778-2786.
  • Luo YB, Mitrpant C, Johnsen R, Fabian V, Needham M, Fletcher S, Wilton SD and Mastaglia FL (2013) Investigation of splicing changes and post-translational processing of LMNA in sporadic inclusion body myositis. Int J Clin Exp Pathol 6: 1723-1733.
  • Luo YB, Johnsen RD, Griffiths L, Needham M, Fabian VA, Fletcher S, Wilton SD and Mastaglia FL (2013) Primary over-expression of AbetaPP in muscle does not lead to the development of inclusion body myositis in a new lineage of the MCK-AbetaPP transgenic mouse. Int J Exp Pathol 94: 418-425.
  • Fletcher S, Adkin CF, Meloni P, Wong B, Muntoni F, Kole R, Fragall C, Greer K, Johnsen R and Wilton SD (2012) Targeted exon skipping to address “leaky” mutations in the dystrophin gene. Mol Ther Nucleic Acids 1: e48.
  • Adkin CF, Meloni PL, Fletcher S, Adams AM, Muntoni F, Wong B and Wilton SD (2012) Multiple exon skipping strategies to by-pass dystrophin mutations. Neuromuscul Disord 22: 297-305.
  • Fragall CT, Adams AM, Johnsen RD, Kole R, Fletcher S and Wilton SD (2011) Mismatched single stranded antisense oligonucleotides can induce efficient dystrophin splice switching. BMC Med Genet 12: 141.
  • Both G, Alexander I, Fletcher S, Nicolson TJ, Rasko JE, Wilton SD and Symonds G (2011) Gene therapy: therapeutic applications and relevance to pathology. Pathology 43: 642-656.
  • Goyenvalle A, Babbs A, Powell D, Kole R, Fletcher S, Wilton SD and Davies KE (2010) Prevention of dystrophic pathology in severely affected dystrophin/utrophin-deficient mice by morpholino-oligomer-mediated exon-skipping. Mol Ther 18: 198-205.
  • Forrest S, Meloni PL, Muntoni F, Kim J, Fletcher S and Wilton SD (2010) Personalized exon skipping strategies to address clustered non-deletion dystrophin mutations. Neuromuscul Disord 20: 810-816.
  • Fletcher S, Adams AM, Johnsen RD, Greer K, Moulton HM and Wilton SD (2010) Dystrophin isoform induction in vivo by antisense-mediated alternative splicing. Mol Ther 18: 1218-1223.
  • Mitrpant C, Fletcher S, Iversen PL and Wilton SD (2009) By-passing the nonsense mutation in the 4 CV mouse model of muscular dystrophy by induced exon skipping. J Gene Med 11: 46-56.
  • Mitrpant C, Adams AM, Meloni PL, Muntoni F, Fletcher S and Wilton SD (2009) Rational design of antisense oligomers to induce dystrophin exon skipping. Mol Ther 17: 1418-1426.
  • Madden HR, Fletcher S, Davis MR and Wilton SD (2009) Characterization of a complex Duchenne muscular dystrophy-causing dystrophin gene inversion and restoration of the reading frame by induced exon skipping. Hum Mutat 30: 22-28.
  • Doran P, Wilton SD, Fletcher S and Ohlendieck K (2009) Proteomic profiling of antisense-induced exon skipping reveals reversal of pathobiochemical abnormalities in dystrophic mdx diaphragm. Proteomics 9: 671-685.
  • Laws N, Cornford-Nairn RA, Irwin N, Johnsen R, Fletcher S, Wilton SD and Hoey AJ (2008) Long-term administration of antisense oligonucleotides into the paraspinal muscles of mdx mice reduces kyphosis. J Appl Physiol 105: 662-668.
  • Wilton SD, Fall AM, Harding PL, Mcclorey G, Coleman C and Fletcher S (2007) Antisense oligonucleotide-induced exon skipping across the human dystrophin gene transcript. Mol Ther 15: 1288-1296.
  • Moulton HM, Fletcher S, Neuman BW, Mcclorey G, Stein DA, Abes S, Wilton SD, Buchmeier MJ, Lebleu B and Iversen PL (2007) Cell-penetrating peptide-morpholino conjugates alter pre-mRNA splicing of DMD (Duchenne muscular dystrophy) and inhibit murine coronavirus replication in vivo. Biochem Soc Trans 35: 826-828.
  • Harding PL, Fall AM, Honeyman K, Fletcher S and Wilton SD (2007) The influence of antisense oligonucleotide length on dystrophin exon skipping. Mol Ther 15: 157-166.
  • Fletcher S, Honeyman K, Fall AM, Harding PL, Johnsen RD, Steinhaus JP, Moulton HM, Iversen PL and Wilton SD (2007) Morpholino oligomer-mediated exon skipping averts the onset of dystrophic pathology in the mdx mouse. Mol Ther 15: 1587-1592.
  • Adams AM, Harding PL, Iversen PL, Coleman C, Fletcher S and Wilton SD (2007) Antisense oligonucleotide induced exon skipping and the dystrophin gene transcript: cocktails and chemistries. BMC Mol Biol 8: 57.
  • Mcclorey G, Moulton HM, Iversen PL, Fletcher S and Wilton SD (2006) Antisense oligonucleotide-induced exon skipping restores dystrophin expression in vitro in a canine model of DMD. Gene Ther 13: 1373-1381.
  • Mcclorey G, Fall AM, Moulton HM, Iversen PL, Rasko JE, Ryan M, Fletcher S and Wilton SD (2006) Induced dystrophin exon skipping in human muscle explants. Neuromuscul Disord 16: 583-590.
  • Fletcher S, Honeyman K, Fall AM, Harding PL, Johnsen RD and Wilton SD (2006) Dystrophin expression in the mdx mouse after localised and systemic administration of a morpholino antisense oligonucleotide. J Gene Med 8: 207-216.
  • Fall AM, Johnsen R, Honeyman K, Iversen P, Fletcher S and Wilton SD (2006) Induction of revertant fibres in the mdx mouse using antisense oligonucleotides. Genet Vaccines Ther 4: 3.
  • Wilton SD, and Fletcher S (2005) Antisense oligonucleotides in the treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy: Where are we now? Neuromuscul Disord 15: 399-402.
  • Gebski BL, Errington SJ, Johnsen RD, Fletcher S and Wilton SD (2005) Terminal antisense oligonucleotide modifications can enhance induced exon skipping. Neuromuscul Disord 15: 622-629.
  • Wells KE, Fletcher S, Mann CJ, Wilton SD and Wells DJ (2003) Enhanced in vivo delivery of antisense oligonucleotides to restore dystrophin expression in adult mdx mouse muscle. FEBS Lett 552: 145-149.
  • Lu QL, Mann CJ, Lou F, Bou-Gharios G, Morris GE, Xue SA, Fletcher S, Partridge TA and Wilton SD (2003) Functional amounts of dystrophin produced by skipping the mutated exon in the mdx dystrophic mouse. Nat Med 9: 1009-1014.
  • Gebski BL, Mann CJ, Fletcher S and Wilton SD (2003) Morpholino antisense oligonucleotide induced dystrophin exon 23 skipping in mdx mouse muscle. Hum Mol Genet 12: 1801-1811.
  • Errington SJ, Mann CJ, Fletcher S and Wilton SD (2003) Target selection for antisense oligonucleotide induced exon skipping in the dystrophin gene. J Gene Med 5: 518-527.
  • Mann CJ, Honeyman K, Mcclorey G, Fletcher S and Wilton SD (2002) Improved antisense oligonucleotide induced exon skipping in the mdx mouse model of muscular dystrophy. J Gene Med 4: 644-654.
  • O’hara AJ, Howell JM, Taplin RH, Fletcher S, Lloyd F, Kakulas B, Lochmuller H and Karpati G (2001) The spread of transgene expression at the site of gene construct injection. Muscle Nerve 24: 488-495.
  • Mann CJ, Honeyman K, Cheng AJ, Ly T, Lloyd F, Fletcher S, Morgan JE, Partridge TA and Wilton SD (2001) Antisense-induced exon skipping and synthesis of dystrophin in the mdx mouse. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 98: 42-47.
  • Gilbert R, Nalbantoglu J, Howell JM, Davies L, Fletcher S, Amalfitano A, Petrof BJ, Kamen A, Massie B and Karpati G (2001) Dystrophin expression in muscle following gene transfer with a fully deleted (“gutted”) adenovirus is markedly improved by trans-acting adenoviral gene products. Hum Gene Ther 12: 1741-1755.
  • Fletcher S, Ly T, Duff RM, Mc CHJ and Wilton SD (2001) Cryptic splicing involving the splice site mutation in the canine model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Neuromuscul Disord 11: 239-243.
  • Fletcher S, Carville KS, Howell JM, Mann CJ and Wilton SD (2001) Evaluation of a short interspersed nucleotide element in the 3′ untranslated region of the defective dystrophin gene of dogs with muscular dystrophy. Am J Vet Res 62: 1964-1968.
  • Wilton SD, Lloyd F, Carville K, Fletcher S, Honeyman K, Agrawal S and Kole R (1999) Specific removal of the nonsense mutation from the mdx dystrophin mRNA using antisense oligonucleotides. Neuromuscul Disord 9: 330-338.
  • Honeyman K, Carville KS, Howell JM, Fletcher S and Wilton SD (1999) Development of a snapback method of single-strand conformation polymorphism analysis for genotyping Golden Retrievers for the X-linked muscular dystrophy allele. Am J Vet Res 60: 734-737.
  • Wilton SD, Honeyman K, Fletcher S and Laing NG (1998) Snapback SSCP analysis: engineered conformation changes for the rapid typing of known mutations. Hum Mutat 11: 252-258.
  • Kay PH, Harmon D, Fletcher S, Robertson T, Ziman M and Papadimitriou JM (1998) Pax7 includes two polymorphic homeoboxes which contain rearrangements associated with differences in the ability to regenerate damaged skeletal muscle in adult mice. Int J Biochem Cell Biol 30: 261-269.
  • Howell JM, Lochmuller H, O’hara A, Fletcher S, Kakulas BA, Massie B, Nalbantoglu J and Karpati G (1998) High-level dystrophin expression after adenovirus-mediated dystrophin minigene transfer to skeletal muscle of dystrophic dogs: prolongation of expression with immunosuppression. Hum Gene Ther 9: 629-634.
  • Howell JM, Fletcher S, O’hara A, Johnsen RD, Lloyd F and Kakulas BA (1998) Direct dystrophin and reporter gene transfer into dog muscle in vivo. Muscle Nerve 21: 159-165.
  • Ziman MR, Fletcher S and Kay PH (1997) Alternate Pax7 transcripts are expressed specifically in skeletal muscle, brain and other organs of adult mice. Int J Biochem Cell Biol 29: 1029-1036.
  • Kay PH, Harmon D, Fletcher S, Ziman M, Jacobsen PF and Papadimitriou JM (1997) Variation in the methylation profile and structure of Pax3 and Pax7 among different mouse strains and during expression. Gene 184: 45-53.
  • Howell JM, Fletcher S, Kakulas BA, O’hara M, Lochmuller H and Karpati G (1997) Use of the dog model for Duchenne muscular dystrophy in gene therapy trials. Neuromuscul Disord 7: 325-328.
  • Hilliard CM, Fletcher S and Yeoh GC (1996) Calcium phosphate transfection and cell-specific expression of heterologous genes in primary fetal rat hepatocytes. Int J Biochem Cell Biol 28: 639-650.
  • Bartlett RJ, Winand NJ, Secore SL, Singer JT, Fletcher S, Wilton S, Bogan DJ, Metcalf-Bogan JR, Bartlett WT, Howell JM, Cooper BJ and Kornegay JN (1996) Mutation segregation and rapid carrier detection of X-linked muscular dystrophy in dogs. Am J Vet Res 57: 650-654.
  • Fletcher S, Darragh D, Fan Y, Grounds MD, Fisher CJ and Beilharz MW (1993) Specific cloning of DNA fragments unique to the dog Y chromosome. Genet Anal Tech Appl 10: 77-83.
  • Beilharz MW, Lareu RR, Garrett KL, Grounds MD and Fletcher S (1992) Quantitation of muscle precursor cell activity in skeletal muscle by Northern analysis of MyoD and myogenin expression: Application to dystrophic (mdx) mouse muscle. Mol Cell Neurosci 3: 326-331.