Professor Julie Stout elected to Academy of Social Sciences

This year, 36 Australian social scientists have been elected to the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia (ASSA) for their distinguished contributions to their disciplines and to society.

MICCN’s Professor Stout was one of those elected, recognised for her work in dementia and aging. Her research focuses on enhancing the sensitivity and feasibility of clinical measurements – such as cognitive, neuropsychiatric, functional – in large multisite studies and in commercial clinical trials, through the use of both clinically-administered electronic assessment, and patient self-assessment using apps. She and her team also pioneered methods to detect subtle clinical changes in the prodromal period of neurodegenerative disease, as well as interventions to enhance cognitive functioning in Huntington’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.

Professor Stout’s research translation from the lab to the clinic led to the development of a battery of cognitive tests, known as HD-CAB (Huntington’s disease – Cognitive Assessment Battery), which is fit-for-purpose for clinical trials. The HD-CAB has been translated into 11 languages, used in more than a dozen countries, and incorporated into five commercial clinical trials for four pharmaceutical companies.

Furthermore, she leads a spin-out company, Zindametrix, which developed a clinical assessment platform, ‘ZindaLab’, for clinical trials. ZindaLab offers comprehensive functionality for all types of outcomes assessment, customisability for study protocols, compliance with the regulatory context of drug development, and optimisation for usability by patients within clinical settings. ZindaLab can be used in a clinical setting, as well as remotely by study participants from home, using the ZindaLab mobile app.

“Being elected into the Academy is a great honour, and an affirmation of the impact of my research in dementia and ageing” Professor Stout said. “I am confident that by advancing clinical research and improving clinical trials, we will reduce suffering in people with neurodegenerative disorders. I am committed to training the next generation of clinical scientists who will move this agenda forward into the era when we will finally see great progress in diminishing the devastating impacts of neurodegeneration. “

Professor Stout joins MICCN Director Professor Kim Cornish as a Fellow of the ASSA. Professor Cornish was elected last year for advancing research knowledge and developing new approaches in a range of areas pertaining to attention and memory, including Fragile X syndrome, Autism, Williams syndrome, Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder and Down syndrome.

We congratulate Professor Stout on her achievement, along with the other 18 women and 17 men who were elected this year.

Read the full ASSA media release here.

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Professor Julie Stout, newly elected Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia