Dr Meagan McGrath

Meagan McGrath is a senior postdoctoral research fellow at the Biomedicine Discovery Instutite, Monash University, Australia. She is head of the skeletal muscle research group in the laboratory of Professor Christina Mitchell. Meagan completed her PhD in 2004 and undertook postdoctoral work at Monash University characterizing the function of a newly identified family of proteins, called four and a half LIM proteins, in the transcriptional regulation of skeletal muscle cytoarchitecture, fibre-type specification and growth.

Meagan’s research combines use of knockout, transgenic and mutant knock-in mouse models with cell biology to characterize pathways required for maintaining normal skeletal muscle homeostasis including myoblast fusion, muscle repair and autophagy. This also includes understanding of disease process that underlie the genetically and clinically heterogeneous inherited disorders affecting skeletal muscle, called dystrophies and myopathies. She has made key discoveries in this area including the identification of FHL1 gene mutations as causative for the muscle disease Reducing body myopathy. Her recent work has established how mutations in an inositol polyphosphate 5-phosphatase enzyme cause congential muscular dystrophy due to a failure to maintain lysosome repopulation during autophagy. This work provided key understanding of how lysosome homeostasis is maintained in muscle in vivo for continued autophagic function.