Our people

Our people

Executive Committee

Professor Ian Blair

Centre Co-Director and Group Leader

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.

See publications here

Professor Julie Atkin

Centre Co-Director 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.

See publications here

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.

See publications here

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.

See publications here

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).

See publications here

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).

See publications here

Senior science group

Name and Contact Details

Area of expertise

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

  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry

Dr Mariana Brocardo
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
E: mariana.brocardo@mq.edu.au


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

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Zebrafish Models

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 Libing Fu
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
T: +61 (2) 9850 2724


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 Lyndal Henden
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
E: lyndal.henden@mq.edu.au
T: +61 (2) 9850 2715


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

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Cell Biology

Dr Alison Hogan
Research Associate
E: alison.hogan@mq.edu.au
T: +61 (2) 9850 2744


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 Cyril Jones Jagaraj
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
E: cyril-jones.jagaraj@mq.edu.au


Dr Anna Konopka
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
E: anna.konopka@mq.edu.au


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

  • Molecular and Cell Biology
  • Protein Biochemistry
  • Proteomics

Dr Jia Li
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
E: jia.li1@mq.edu.au
T: +61 (2) 9850 2789


Dr Edwin (Chai Kiat) Lim
Senior Research Fellow
T: +61 (2) 9850 2737


Dr David Lovejoy
Research Fellow
E: david.lovejoy@mq.edu.au


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

  • Cell biology
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Protein Biochemistry

Dr Cindy Maurel
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
E: cindy.maurel@mq.edu.au
T: +61 (2) 9850 2785


Dr Emily McCann
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
E: emily.mccan@mq.edu.au


Dr Marco Morsch
Research Fellow
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 Emma Perri
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
E: emma.perri@mq.edu.au


Associate Professor Bingyang Shi
Macquarie University Research Fellow
E: bingyang.shi@mq.edu.au
T: +61 (2) 9850 2702


Dr Sinduja Subramanian
Research Fellow
E: sinduja.subramanian@mq.edu.au


Dr Vanessa Tan
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
E: vanessa.tan@mq.edu.au
T: +61 (2) 9850 2737


Dr Natalie Twine
Adjunct Fellow
E: natalie.twine@mq.edu.au


Dr Maxinne Watchon
Post-Doctoral Research Associate
E: maxinne.watchon@mq.edu.au


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

  • Genetics and Genomics
  • Epigenetics
  • Bioinformatics

Dr Marta Vidal
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
E: marta.vidal@mq.edu.au


Dr Amanda Wright
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
T: +61 (2) 9850 2789


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

  • Molecular and Cell Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Neuropathology

Dr Annie Zou
Research Fellow
E: anne.zou@mq.edu.au

PhD students



Afshin Babazadeh


Ali Asgher Ali


Sandrine Kim Kow Chan Moi Fat


Jennilee Davidson


Md Shafi Jamali


Ananda Staats Pires


Rowan Radford


Stephanie Rayner


Winonah Riddell


Natalie Scherer


Sina Shadfar


Hannah Suddull


Reka Toth


Madelane Tym


Andres Vidal-Itriago


Maria Villalva


Guoying Wang


Sharlynn Wu


Lu Yan


Research staff



Elisa Cachia
Biobank Technician


Flora Cheng
Research Assistant


Sharron (Sau Ming) Chow
Research Officer


Susan D'Silva
Biobank Coordinator


Rosie Fell
Associate Genetic Counsellor


Natalie Grima
Research Assistant


Dr Prachi Mehta
Research Officer


Katherine Robinson
Research Assistant


Claire Winnick
Research Assistant


Kristy (Chengying) Yuan
Research Assistant

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