Our people

Our people

Executive Committee

Associate Professor Ian Blair

Centre Director and Group Leader

Associate Professor Ian Blair’s research career has focused on determining the molecular and cellular basis of a variety of neurological disorders including Motor Neurone Disease, ALS, hereditary sensory neuropathy (HSN), Charcot Marie Tooth disorder (CMT), the spinal cerebellar ataxias (SCA), Joubert syndrome, and bipolar disorder.

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Professor Dominic Rowe AM

Centre Deputy Director

Professor Rowe's areas of expertise include MND and Parkinson’s Disease among other forms of neurodegenerative disease. As the inaugural Professor of Neurology at Macquarie University, he is involved in research into the cause and therapies of these diseases.

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Associate Professor Julie Atkin

Centre Executive Member and Group Leader

Julie Atkin is internationally recognised as a leader in the role of cellular stress responses in MND. She is interested in the basic molecular and cellular mechanisms that trigger neurodegeneration in MND, particularly the disruption of cellular trafficking processes and the role of protein aggregation.

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Professor Roger Chung

Centre Executive Member and Group Leader

Roger Chung’s team explores the neurobiology and neurochemical pathways that underlie MND.  His team has three main interests: i) molecular and proteomic understanding of the origins of MND, ii) understanding how non-neuronal cells contribute to disease processes, and iii) developing therapeutic strategies for MND using nanoparticle-based drug delivery systems.

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Dr Nicholas Cole

Centre Executive Member and Group Leader

Dr Cole's research team is focused upon understanding and curing MND by generating zebrafish models of the disease. The fish models are created to understand how motor neurons die in MND patients. Zebrafish are an established research model organism that offers several advantages.

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Professor Gilles Guillemin

Centre Executive Member and Group Leader

Professor Gilles Guillemin is internationally recognised as a leader in the fields of tryptophan, neuroinflammation and neurotoxicity research. Gilles is currently leading a team of 12 researchers studying the involvement of tryptophan (an essential amino acid) in MND such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and Spinal muscular atrophy - (SMA).

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Dr Angela Laird

Centre Executive Member and Group Leader

Dr. Laird studies the pathogenesis of movement disorders with a particular focus on identifying and testing potential disease treatments. Her group has been successful at producing and characterising the world’s first zebrafish model of spinocerebellar ataxia type-3 (also known as Machado Joseph Disease, MJD).

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Dr Adam Walker

Centre Executive Member and Group Leader

Dr Walker is a neurobiologist focused on uncovering the pathogenic mechanisms of motor neuron disease and frontotemporal dementia. He obtained his BSc(Hons) in Biochemistry from the University of Tasmania (2005), and his PhD in Neuroscience from the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health at the University of Melbourne (2011).

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Senior science group

Name

Area of expertise

Dr Seray Adams
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
E: seray.adams@mq.edu.au
T: +61 (2) 9850 2736

  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry

Ms Ashley Crook
Senior Genetic Counsellor
E: ashley.crook@mq.edu.au
T: +61 (2) 9812 3720

  • Genetic Counselling
  • Clinical Genetic Testing
  • Pre-Symptomatic Testing

Dr Emily Don
Associate Lecturer | Post-Doctoral Fellow
E: emily.don@mq.edu.au
T: +61 (2) 9850 2743

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Zebrafish Models

Dr Benjamin Heng
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
E: benjamin.heng@mq.edu.au
T: +61 (2) 9850 2733

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Cell Biology

Dr Anne Hogden
Research Fellow, Australian Institute of Health Innovation
E: anne.hogden@mq.edu.au
T: +61 2 9850 2417

  • Patient decision-making
  • Multidisciplinary teamwork
  • Healthcare service delivery

Dr Jennifer Fifita
Bill Gole Post-Doctoral Research Fellow
E: jennifer.fifita@mq.edu.au
T: +61 (2) 9850 2741

  • Genetics and Genomics
  • Molecular Cell Biology

Dr Sarah Furlong
Neurodegenerative Diseases Biobank Manager
E: sarah.furlong@mq.edu.au
T: +61 (2) 9850 2722

  • Biobanking
  • Human Research Studies
  • Molecular Biology

Dr Sheng Le
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
E: sheng.le@mq.edu.au
T: +61 (2) 9850 2723

  • Transgenic animal model
  • Animal surgeries
  • In vivo electrophysiology
  • Neuroanatomy

Luan Luu
Research Associate
E: luanluu@mq.edu.au
T: +61 (2) 9850 2740

  • Cell biology 
  • Neurodegeneration 
  • Protein Biochemistry

Dr Albert Lee
Research Fellow
E: albert.lee@mq.edu.au
T: +61 (2) 9850 2777

  • Molecular and Cell Biology
  • Protein Biochemistry
  • Proteomics

Dr Prachi Mehta
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
E: prachi.mehta@mq.edu.au
T: +61 (2) 9850 4570

  • Molecular Biology
  • Protein Biochemistry
  • Animal Models

Dr Marco Morsch
Team Leader Neurophysiology and Imaging
E: marco.morsch@mq.edu.au
T: +61 (2) 9850 2787

  • Neuron and Glia Interactions
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Animal Models of Disease
  • Cannabinoids

Dr Sonam Parakh
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
E: sonam.parakh@mq.edu.au
T: +61 (2) 0455 8861

  • Molecular Cell Biology
  • Biochemistry

Dr Audrey Ragagnin
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
E: audrey.ragagnin@mq.edu.au
T: +61 (2) 9850 2746

  • Neurodegeneration
  • Mouse Models of Disease
  • Molecular Cell Biology
  • Biochemistry

Dr Mimi Sabaretnam
Research Fellow
E: tharani.sabaretnam@mq.edu.au
T: +61 (2) 9850 2752

  • Neurotoxins & Neurodegeneration

Dr Hamideh Shahheydari
Post-Doctoral Researcher
E: hamideh.shahheydari@mq.edu.au
T: +61 2 9850 2783

  • Molecular Cell Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Animal Models of Disease

Dr Kelly Williams
NHMRC Research Fellow
E: kelly.williams@mq.edu.au
P: +61 (2) 9850 2731

  • Genetics and Genomics
  • Epigenetics
  • Bioinformatics

Dr Shu Yang
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
E: shu.yang@mq.edu.au
T: +61 (2) 9850 2728

  • Molecular and Cell Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Neuropathology
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