Monif group

Neuroimmunology, Neuroinflammation and Neurological Diseases Laboratory

Key terms

Neurology, Neuroimmunology, Neuroinflammation, Multiple Sclerosis, Autoimmune Encephalitis, Gliomas, Microglia, Purinergic Receptors, vitamin D

The group

2018 Monif group L-R: Back row - Robb Wesselingh, William O'Brien, Matthew Drill, Katrina Kan Front row - Sarah Griffith, Veronica Voo, Mastura Monif (Group Leader), Shokoufeh Abdollahi

Research Goal

To understand how neuroinflammation can lead to neurological diseases.

Research Overview

Our research goals are to understand the neuroinflammatory and neuroimmunological processes in a number of neurological conditions. Our research is transitional in nature involving bed (hospital) to bench (laboratory) neuroscience approaches. The key disease states that we focus on are Multiple Sclerosis, Autoimmune Encephalitis, and Human Gliomas. We also collaborate with many other groups focusing on a number of other neurological and neuroinflammatory illnesses.


Current Project Funding

  • Charles and Sylvia Viertel Trustees
  • Brain Foundation
  • Merck Industry Investigator Initiated Grant


See recent publications for Mastura Monif at Pubmed search [Monif M], the Monash feed below, and a select list below the feed window.


  • Sarah P. Griffith, Charles B. Malpas, Rubina Alpitsis, Terence J. O'Brien, Mastura Monif (2020), The neuropsychological spectrum of anti-LGI1 antibody mediated autoimmune encephalitis, Journal of Neuroimmunology, 21st May 2020 in press
  • Wesselingh R, Butzkueven H, Buzzard K, Tarlinton D, O'Brien TJ, Monif M.. 2020, Seizures in autoimmune encephalitis: Kindling the fire. Epilepsia. doi: 10.1111/epi.16515. Online ahead of print. PMID: 32400012
    O'Brien WT, Pham L, Symons GF, Monif M, Shultz SR, McDonald SJ.J The NLRP3 inflammasome in traumatic brain injury: potential as a biomarker and therapeutic target. J Neuroinflammation. 2020 Apr 6;17(1):104. doi: 10.1186/s12974-020-01778-5.PMID: 32252777
  • Veronica Tsin Fong Voo, Jim Stankovich, Terence J O’Brien, Helmut Butzkueven, Mastura Monif (2020),  Vitamin D status in an Australian patient population: a large retrospective case series focusing on factors associated with variations in serum 25(OH)D. BMJ Open, 10:e032567. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2019-032567
  • Veronica Voo, Helmut Butzkueven, Terence O’Brien, Mastura Monif (2019).The role of vitamin D and P2X7R in multiple sclerosis. Journal of Neuroimmunology. Volume 330, Pages 159-169
    Kan LK, Drummond KJ, Hunn M, Williams DA, O'Brien TJ, Mastura Monif, A Simple and Reliable Protocol for the Preparation and Culturing of Fresh Surgically Resected Human Glioblastoma Tissue. Methods Protoc. 2020 Jan 22;3(1). pii: E11. doi: 10.3390/mps3010011.
  • Sinali O. Seneviratne, Katherine A. Buzzard, Belinda Cruse, Monif M (2020). Cerebellar Ataxia Followed by Stiff Person Syndrome in a Patient with Anti-GAD Antibodies. Case Reports Immunol. 2020; 2020: 8454532.
  • Robb Wesselingh, Helmut Butzkueven, Katherine Buzzard, David Tarlinton, Terence J. O'Brien, Mastura Monif (2019), Innate Immunity in the Central Nervous System: A Missing Piece of the Autoimmune Encephalitis Puzzle? Frontiers in Immunology, Volume10, pages 2066
  • Liyen Katrina Kana, David Williams, Kate Drummond, Terence O'Brien, Mastura Monif, The role of microglia and P2X7 receptors in gliomas, Journal of Neuroimmunology. Volume 332, 15 July 2019, Pages 138-146
  • Veronica Voo, Helmut Butzkueven, Terence O’Brien, Mastura Monif, The role of vitamin D and P2X7R in multiple sclerosis. Journal of Neuroimmunology. March 2019, 330; 159-169. This study highlights the role of Vitamin D in MS and the innate immunity responses.
  • Robb Wesselingh, Mastura Monif, Status Epilepticus Complicating Anti-Ma2 Antibody Associated Paraneoplastic Autoimmune Encephalitis Neurological Disorders & Epilepsy Journal 2019; 2(1):121.
  • Broadley J, Seneviratne U., Beech P., Buzzard K., Butzkueven H., O’Brien T., Monif M., Prognosticating autoimmune encephalitis: a systematic review, Journal of Autoimmunity, 2019 Jan; 96:24-34. As a senior author, Dr Monif and team showed that delay in immunotherapy commencement is associated with poor patient outcome.
  • James Broadley, Udaya Seneviratne, Paul Beech, Katherine Buzzard, Helmut Butzkueven, Terence O’Brien, Mastura Monif, Prognosis in autoimmune encephalitis:
  • James Broadley, Mastura Monif, Case reports of unexplained weight loss in autoimmune central neurological syndromes with anti-GAD antibodies, Journal of Clinical Case Reports and Reviews, 2018;1(4):23
  • Monif M., Seneviratne U., (2017) Clinical factors associated with the yield of routine outpatient scalp electroencephalogram: A retrospective analysis from a tertiary hospital. Journal of Clinical Neuroscience. 45:110
  • Monif M., Reid CA, Powell K L, Drummond KL, O’Brien TJ, Williams DA (2016) Interleukin-1β is a key player mediating P2X7 receptor dependent microglial activation and proliferation. Journal Of Neuroinflammation 13: 173.
  • Monif M, O’Brien TJ, Drummond KJ, Reid CA, Luibinas SV, Williams DA (2014) P2X7 Receptors are a potential novel target for anti-glioma therapies. Journal of Inflammation, 11:25.
    Jessica Taylor, Davide Bondavalli, Mastura Monif, Lee Mei Yap, Ingrid Winship (2014). Mal de Meleda in Indonesia – mutations in the SLURP1 gene appear to be ubiquitous. Australasian Journal of Dermatology. 57:1 (11-13)
  • Monif M, Reid CA, Powell KL, Smart ML, Williams DA (2009) The P2X7 receptor drives microglial activation and proliferation: a trophic role for P2X7R pore. J Neuroscience. 29:3781-3791.
  • M. Monif, Burnstock G, Williams DA (2010). Microglia: Proliferation and activation driven by the P2X7 receptor. International Journal of Biochemistry and Cell Biology (Cells in Focus review article).42:1753-6
  • Monif M., Powell K L, Reid CA, Williams DA (2004) Development of low-affinity, membrane-targeted Ca2+ sensors suitable for measuring presynaptic Ca2+. Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology. 31:885-889
  • Williams DA, Monif M, Richardson, K (2012). Compartmentalizing Genetically-Encoded Calcium Sensors.  Calcium Signalling Protocols. Series: Methods in Molecular Biology. Volume 937, 3rd edition, ISBN:978-1-62703-086-1
  • Monif M., Williams DA (2011). Neuroinflammatory processes in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease. Neuroinflammation: Pathogenesis, Mechanisms and Management. Nova Science Publishers, 2011, Chapter 2,  ISBN: 978-1-61942-462-3