Neurosciences Research

Neuroscience research

The spectrum of research conducted by the Neuroscience and Neurology Research Group is broad; ranging from clinical research to laboratory science.  Our research groups include:

The Behavioural Neuroscience lab - headed by Dr Rachel Hill is working toward better treatments for psychiatric disorders.  Psychiatric disorders are thought to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental disturbances or ‘risk-factors’.  The Behavioural Neuroscience laboratory models these risk factors in mice to understand at the molecular, physiological and behavioural level how these disturbances contribute to mental health.  We use a number of different techniques, including genetic manipulation, mouse behavioural testing, molecular biology, in vivo electrophysiology and human clinical studies.

The Stroke and Ageing Research Group provides a number of research opportunities for students in the fields of cerebrovascular disease (acute stroke, imaging, small vessel disease, stroke prevention, public health) and brain ageing (vascular contributions to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease).  It consists of the following divisions headed by experts in the relevant fields who have substantial experience in mentoring students in research projects.

Clinical Trials, Imaging and Informatics - Prof Thanh Phan and A/Prof Henry Ma are acute stroke specialists and neurologists with clinical and research expertise in acute stroke and TIA, endovascular therapy, advanced brain imaging, and the use of novel bioinformatics and big data approaches in stroke care.

Epidemiology and Prevention - Prof Amanda Thrift leads large international studies and secondary prevention trials for in stroke. Targeting blood pressure and diabetes management in developing countries is a major focus.

Translational Public Health - A/Prof Dominique Cadilhac leads a number of large projects aimed at improving quality of stroke care in hospitals, telemedicine provision in regional hospitals, as well as the use of behavioural techniques to improve stroke outcome in patients.

The Movement Disorders group at Monash Health provides a consultative service through Monash Neurology for Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders. Specific areas of expertise include dystonia, deep brain stimulation surgery for movement disorders, and advanced pharmacological delivery therapies for Parkinson’s disease. A research fellowship in movement disorders is available.
Some current and recent research projects are:

  • Neuropsychology of multisensory perception in Parkinson’s disease (in collaboration with the Department of Psychology at Monash University) (Dr Catherine Ding, Prof Dominic Thyagarajan)
  • A kinematic study of Parkinson’s disease and the levodopa response (Dr Rachel Newby, A/ Prof Peter Kempster)
  • A kinematic, electrophysiological and neuropsychological study of different categories of dystonia (Dr Rachel Newby, A/ Prof Peter Kempster)
  • A quantitative CT study of vocal fold and laryngeal movement in Parkinson’s disease (Prof Dominic Thyagarajan, A/ Prof Peter Kempster)
  • Using electronic devices to analyse handwriting and speech in Parkinson’s disease (Dr Sanjay Raghav, A/ Prof Peter Kempster)

The Multiple Sclerosis groupA/Prof Ernie Butler, Dr Deepa Rajendran and Dr Martin Short provide comprehensive clinical services for patients with multiple sclerosis.  Visit Monash MC Clinic website for more information.  They conduct several clinical trials in multiple sclerosis.

Epilepsy Research group - A/Prof Udaya Seneviratne is a neurologist with clinical and research expertise in epilepsy and EEG. He leads the Epilepsy and EEG Service in the Monash Health hospital network. He is the principal investigator of clinical trials in epilepsy at Monash Health.  Current epilepsy research is focussed on electrophysiological abnormalities in genetic generalised epilepsies as well as semiology of epileptic and psychogenic nonepileptic seizures. His other research interests include critical care EEG, video-EEG monitoring and seizure education.