Our people - Ageing and Neurodegeneration

Program Lead

Professor Julie Stout

E: Julie.Stout@monash.edu

Professor Julie Stout leads a team of postdocs, students, and IT specialists, employing techniques from neuropsychology and cognitive neuroscience to characterise the effects of neurodegeneration on cognition and brain function. Her research group is known for innovations in assessments using computerised and sensor-based approaches.

Professor Stout is a leading international expert in Huntington’s Disease. Her team has led the cognitive component of several large, international studies, which have described the cognitive, motor, psychiatric, and brain imaging changes in people with the Huntington’s Disease gene as they progress from normal functioning to manifest Huntington’s Disease. Professor Stout also led a 20-site international study that yielded the HD-CAB, which is now the standard cognitive assessment battery for clinical trials in Huntington’s Disease. She also co-leads the Scientific Oversight Committee of Enroll-HD (sponsor CHDI Foundation, New York, USA), the largest ever study of people from Huntington’s Disease families, which has over 12,000 participants globally. A key translation of Professor Stout’s research is that the diagnosis of Huntington’s Disease is now being refined to take into account, for the first time, cognitive changes rather than focusing exclusively on the movement disorder symptoms.

Professor Stout is Director of Stout Neuropsych Pty Ltd. – a spin-out company that provides an assessment platform and services for cognitive assessment in clinical trials to pharmaceutical sponsors. Her team collaborates with multiple industry partners, pushing innovation by integrating emerging technologies such as mobile devices and sensors into clinical trials, with the aim of capturing individual differences in both disease phenotypes and responsivity to treatments.

Program Deputy Lead

Dr Ian Harding

E: Ian.Harding@monash.edu

Dr Ian Harding is an NHMRC Early Career Research Fellow at the Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health. He has a background in cognitive neuroscience, and uses functional and structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET) to investigate brain markers and mechanisms of cognitive functioning and progressive neurodegeneration. He currently has a particular interest in neurological disorders that principally effect the cerebellum and basal ganglia, including Friedreich ataxia and Huntington disease.

He is Head of the Dementia, Ageing, and Neurodegeneration research stream at the Turner Institute, and the Founding Principal Investigator of the ENIGMA-Ataxia international neuroimaging consortium.

His research includes investigations of:

  • the spreading pattern of functional and structural abnormalities across the brain in progressive neurodegeneration, and the mechanisms that may underpin that spread (e.g., functional diaschisis, anatomical transneuronal degeneration, and chronic neuroinflammation);
  • the complementary roles of the cerebellum and basal ganglia in higher-order cognition (e.g., cognitive control and working memory), and the consequences of degeneration in one to functioning in the other;
  • similarities and differences in the spatial profile of brain and spinal degeneration in different forms of cerebellar ataxia; and
  • the role of large-scale functional brain networks, and dynamic shifts in those networks, in mediating cognitive control, working memory, and decision-making in both health and disease.

Other Key Team Members

Professor Gary Egan

E: Gary.Egan@monash.edu

Professor Nellie Georgiou-Karistianis

E: Nellie.Georgiou-Karistianis@monash.edu

Professor Mathew Mundy

E Matthew.Mundy@monash.edu

Associate Professor Adrian Carter

E: Adrian.Carter@monash.edu

Dr Trevor Chong

E: Trevor.Chong@monash.edu

Dr James Coxon

E: James.Coxon@monash.edu

Dr Yifat Glikmann-Johnston

E : Yifat.Glikmann-Johnston@monash.edu

Dr Sharna Jamadar

E: Sharna.Jamadar@monash.edu

Dr Adeel Razi

E : Adeel.Razi@monash.edu