The Neuroscience honours stream is run jointly by the School of Psychology and the School of Biomedical Sciences. The Neuroscience honours stream is open to all students who majored in Neuroscience or who are eligible to enrol in honours in the School of Psychology or School of Biomedical Sciences and have a background in disciplines allied to neuroscience ( for example, by completion of NEUR courses).

Neuroscience honours is a multi-disciplinary research-based course which can be taken full-time over one year or part-time over two. In this course, you will work on a research project with one or more neuroscientists affiliated with UNSW and undertake course work that will introduce you to the range of knowledge and techniques that make up modern neuroscience. This multi-faceted course is designed to enable you to develop high level research skills, especially in critical evaluation of data and communication of research results, with a specific focus on neuroscience. 

Comparison of honours courses:

Neuroscience Honours Psychology Honours School of Biomedical Sciences Honours
≥ 65 WAM ≥ 75 WAM ≥ 65 WAM

75% research

25% courses

60% research

40% courses

100% research

10000 word thesis 15000 word thesis 5000 word thesis

 

If you're interested in Neurhonours in 2023, please refer to the below from the The SBMS & SoHS Research Information Session (2023 intake) Online Event which took place on Weds 6 July 2022

Presentation Slides: PDF presentation slides

Event Document: Potential Projects for SoMS Honours, Neurhonours and HDR (2023 intake)

Event Recording: Overview of Honours and HDR by Honours and HDR convenors (entry requirements, enrolment procedures, assessments etc). To turn on close captions, select ‘CC’ in the bottom right corner of the screen. ‘Chapters’ can be selected in the top right corner.

What sort of projects can I do?

Supervisors will have some projects for you to select from, but as the year progresses, you will be more able to direct the research.

Examples of projects conducted by students in previous years include:

  • Sleep disturbances in behavioural-variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD), which identified the biological correlates of sleep disorder in bvFTD and the impact of sleep changes on emotion processing in this diseases.
  • Effects of transcranial direct current stimulation on dynamic brain bioenergetics in healthy control subjects, which measured changes in phosphate-containing metabolites in the frontal cortex of healthy subjects.
  • Obesity and the neural control of the intestine, which investigated whether the inflammatory state caused by obesity affected sympathetic and enteric nerves, by using video imaging and electrochemical recording techniques.

Please refer to the Honours Supervisors section to see available projects offered by Biomedical Sciences, Psychology and Institutes such as Neuroscience Research Australia, Black Dog Institute and others.

 

  • Entry requirements:

    • Prior study - A Science* student should have completed a neuroscience major or specialisation or have a background in disciplines allied to neuroscience (as evidenced, for example, by completion of NEUR courses). External student with a background in neuroscience are eligible to enrol in the course subject to the approval of the Neuroscience Honours Convenor.
    • WAM – Minimum credit (65) weighted average mark (WAM) for overall degree based on stage 1-3 courses is required. An applicant with a WAM of at least 60 will be considered if the weighted average for their level 3 science courses is ≥65%, or if they have done additional training, for instance as vacation scholars and they can find a supervisor to support their application.
    • UNSW applicants must have completed all General Education courses in accordance with the program rules; e.g. for 3991 (BMedSci), 12 units in total taken from outside the Science or Medicine and Health faculties.
    • UNSW applicants must have completed 144 Units of Credit (UoC) for a 3-year degree or 192 UoC for a 4-year degree and satisfied the requirements of the program in which they are enrolled.
    • *This includes students in all UNSW Faculty of Science programs: i.e. Science - 3970, Advanced Science - 3962, Medical Science - 3991, etc. Students completing the 3871 Exercise Physiology program may also apply for Neuroscience Honours if they have met their program requirements with a credit average and can find a suitable project and supervisor. Other students with an interest and some background in neuroscience may be eligible to enrol in the course subject to the approval of the Neuroscience Honours Convenor.

    Prospective Honours students are responsible for arranging a supervisor, discussing available Honours projects and eligibility/suitability for the project before submitting their application (please refer to the Honours Supervisors section for a list of supervisors and available projects). Students interested in doing honours with a supervisor in a clinical school/ hospital or who does any research/data collection at the hospitals must be fully compliant with the NSW Health Requirements.

    Please see the UNSW Science honours webpage regarding the application process.

     

    • If your application is successful:

      You will receive an offer letter via email from the Neuroscience Honours Convenor. 

      Standalone Honours: If you are a B Science or B Medical Science student, you will receive your offer for the 4500 Bachelor of Science (Honours) from the Admissions Office. Please proceed to accept your offer online, see step 2 of this process.

      Embedded Honours: If you are in B Advanced Science (embedded Honours), please email neurhonoursadmin@unsw.edu.au  to confirm your acceptance, see step 2 of this process.

    • You must accept your offer before enrolling. Please see course list below for enrolment If you have problems enrolling, please contact Neuroscience Honours Convenor neurhonoursadmin@unsw.edu.au.

      Please see the Faculty of Science honours webpage regarding the process.

      Embedded Honours: If you are in B Advanced Science (embedded Honours), please email neurhonoursadmin@unsw.edu.au  to confirm your acceptance into Honours via your student email address and enrol in the courses below. If you have problems enrolling, please email  neurhonoursadmin@unsw.edu.au

      Please see the information in the UNSW website regarding the two-step enrolment process:

      T1 (enrol in course and class)

      NEUR4411 Psych Neuro Perspectives 6UOC

      NEUR4442 Neurosci Res 12UOC

      T2 (enrol in course and class)

      NEUR4421 Biomedical Neuroscience 6 UOC

      NEUR4442 Neurosci Res 12UOC

      T3 (enrol in course)

      NEUR4442 Neurosci Res 12UOC

    • You will receive a copy of the Project Information Form with your offer letter from NEUR Honours Admin email.

      Please read the instructions on the form. Please return your completed and signed Enrolment Form via email to neurhonoursadmin@unsw.edu.au.

    • All research students at SBMS must complete the relevant Health & Safety courses. Your supervisor should advise you regarding the courses you need to do for your particular project. Please refer to the UNSW Health & Safety website for further information.

  •  

    30 Jan - 13 Feb 2023

    Students commence their research project. Exemption for a late start can be obtained by writing to the Honours Convenor.

    13 February 2023

    Official start of the Honours Year and Student Induction Seminar (Mandatory).

    Week of 13 Feb 2023

    Term 1 coursework (NEUR4411) commences.

    March 2023

    Supervisor and Examiner Induction (virtual).

    12, 13 April 2023

    Students present their Project Proposal orally, to a SoMS audience and Honours Committee.

    20 April 2023

     

    Students submit Project Proposal document. Rejoinder due 2 weeks after receipt of examiner feedback.

    Week of 29 May 2023

    Term 2 coursework (NEUR4421) commences.

    23 June 2023

    Student/Supervisor (mid-candidature) Progress Report due.

    30 October 2023

    Students submit Thesis.

    6 November 2023

    Students submit Lay Summary.

     

  • The current COVID-19 restrictions have had an impact on all our communities across Sydney, including academics and their research activities. As a consequence, this has altered research timelines and the nature of research activities in many cases. Prospective honours students are asked to be considerate of these factors and understand that some supervisors may not have the same capacity or resources for honours projects commencing in T1 2023 as originally expected. We encourage you to keep this in mind when discussing projects with prospective supervisors.

    • This page is currently under review to be updated, projects may not be current.

      Group/Lab Name

      Name

      Research Area / Thesis topics

      Contact details

      Status
      Human Sensory Neuroscience, Sensorimotor Control and Bionics A/Prof Ingvars Birznieks

      Research Area: Sensory neuroscience; neural code - encoding of tactile sensory information in health and disease (stroke, diabetic neuropathy, chronic back pain); sensorimotor control of the human hand; haptics, artificial intelligence, biomedical engineering; bionics; robotics; computational neuroscience. 

      This theme has projects suitable for medical, biomedical science, psychology and engineering students of various specialisations. International students are welcome.

      Techniques: Psychophysics, microneurography (recordings from single sensory neurons in humans) and other electrophysiology methods, signal processing, modelling, behavioural experiments, robotic control.

      Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) & SoMS Physiology/ Cellular and Systems Physiology

      Level 3, Wallace Wurth West

      P: 9385 8311

      NeuRA Supervisor profile

      Current. Updated October 2021
      Cellular Mechanotransduction Dr Kate Poole

      Research Area: Gating and regulation of force-sensing ion channels

       

      Techniques: Patch-clamp electrophysiology, cell culture, substrate microfabrication

       

      This project will investigate how the sensitivity of force-sensing ion channels is regulated at the contact points between cells and the extracellular matrix. We are using deformable, microfabricated surfaces to apply forces directly to cell-matrix contacts, allowing us to quantitatively measure force-sensing ion channel activity.

      SoMS Physiology/ Translational Neuroscience Facility & Single Molecule Science

      Level 3, Wallace Wurth West

      P: 9385 1764

      TNF website

       
      Neurobiology Research Lab A/Prof Andrew Moorhouse Research Area: KCC2, GABA, Epilepsy, Brain plasticity
       
      Techniques: Electrophysiology, Brain slices. Neuronal Culture, Spines, EEG
       
      We have a number of projects available related to the plasticity of inhibitory synaptic transmission in disease.  Our primary focus is on KCC2 and GABA signalling in epilepsy, where we are striving to provide better therapies to treat different forms of drug-resistant epilepsy. We apply animal models of brain function and seizures, and combine single neuron investigations with neural circuit analysis and whole animal behaviour and EEG. Interested students should contact Dr Moorhouse to discuss these projects further.

      SoMS Physiology/ Cellular and Systems Physiology

      302, Level 3, Wallace Wurth West

      P: 9385 2575

       
      Metabolic and Neuropharmacology Group Prof Margaret Morris

      Research Area: Brain mechanisms involved in appetite and the changes that occur during the development of obesity; the link between obesity and stress; binge-eating and effects on the brain; the role of NPY on absence seizures in epilepsy

      Techniques: Obesity models; behavioural measurements, gene expression, hormone measurements; immunohistochemistry.

      SoMS Pharmacology

      Level 3, Wallace Wurth East

       

      Current. October

      2021

      Molecular Neuroscience Dr Natasha Kumar  

      Research Area: Inhibitory neuropeptides in respiratory chemoreceptors: what is their normal role in ventilatory behaviour? How is this role altered during acute (e.g. exercise) and chronic respiratory/environmental stress (e.g. living in a cave, living at high altitude, obesity hypoventilation syndrome).

       

      Techniques: Transgenic mice, in situ hybridisation, immunohistochemistry, retrograde tracing, rodent behaviour, microscopy and image analysis

       

      SoMS Pharmacology

       

      325, Level 3, Wallace Wurth East

       

       

       

      Current. October

      2021

      Neuropathic Pain Treatment

      A/Prof Gila Moalem-Taylor

      Research Area: : Neuroimmune crosstalk in animal models of nervous system injury, autoimmune diseases, and chronic pain including peripheral nerve injury, chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy and multiple sclerosis. 

      Techniques: Animal surgery, behavioural tests (e.g. measurements of pain, locomotion), immunohistochemistry, cell culture, flow cytometry, Western blot, PCR, and electrophysiology.

      SoMS Physiology/ Translational Neuroscience Facility

      Level 3, Wallace Wurth East

      P: 9385 2478

      Current. October 2021

      Neuropharmacology and Brain Injury

      Dr Nicole Jones

      Research Area: Stroke, hypoxic-ischemic brain injury, neuroprotection and brain repair.

      Techniques: In vitro and in vivo models of brain injury, western blotting, small animal behaviour, immunohistochemistry.

      SoMS Pharmacology

      Level 3, Wallace Wurth East

       

      Current 

      2021

      Neuroplasticity in Memory and Addiction Dr John Power

       

      Our group investigates the cellular mechanisms of memory formation.  We aim to identify of novel mechanisms that modulate or preserve neuronal connections that may be translated into treatments for disorders of impaired or aberrant connectivity such as Alzheimer’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder and addiction.  Our approach includes patch-clamp electrophysiological recordings and live-cell high resolution fluorescence imaging.

       

      Honours projects examine 1) cellular mechanisms of addiction, 2) role of the endoplasmic reticulum in coupling synaptic activity and gene-transcription, 3) modulation of synaptic plasticity.   

       

      SoMS Physiology/ Translational Neuroscience Facility

      Level 3, Wallace Wurth West

      P: 9385 2910

      TNF website

       

      Sensori-Motor Neuroprotection

      Prof Gary Housley

      Research Area: Neuroprotection and repair in sensori-motor pathways: bionics-based gene delivery with cochlear implants, noise and age-related hearing loss, brain injury repair (stroke models). 

      Techniques: In vivo imaging, cellular and systems electrophysiology, gene knock-outs, immunohistochemistry, electrotherapeutics, gene therapy.

      SoMS Physiology/ Translational Neuroscience Facility

      Level 3, Wallace Wurth West

      TNF website

      Current October 2021

       

       

    • This page is currently under review to be updated, projects may not be current.

      Group/Lab Name Name Research Area/ Thesis topics Contact details Status
      Behavioural Neuroscience Dr Kelly Clemens

      The role of epigenetic modifications in the development and persistence of drug addiction. Drugs of abuse lead to histone and DNA modifications that regulate the expression of genes critical for reward-related behaviour, and the formation and persistence of drug memories. Advanced molecular and sequencing techniques are paired with sophisticated behavioural paradigms to demonstrate the functional consequences of epigenetic modifications on the acquisition, maintenance and relapse to drug-seeking. 

      School of Psychology

      Mathews, Room 909

      P: 9385 3523

      Current. October 2021
      Behavioural Neuroscience Prof Simon Killcross

      Research areas: Examination of the role of dopamine in animal models of drug addiction; control of behavioural flexibility by the prefrontal cortex

       

      Techniques: Central and systemic administration of neurochemical agents; psychopharmacology; behavioural assessment; animal models of human mental disorders

       

       

      School of Psychology

      Mathews, Room 1609

      P: 9385 3034

       
      Behavioural Neuroscience Prof Gavan McNally Neural circuit analyses of fear and reward learning, using optogenetics, chemogenetics, and fibre photometry in normal and transgenic rats using standard and intersectional viral vector approaches.

      School of Psychology

      Mathews, Room 504

      P: 9385 3044

       
      Behavioural Neuroscience Prof Rick Richardson An examination of whether behavioural expression of conditioned fear in rats is appropriate to their age at training or their age at testing, Extinction of learned fear, Infantile amnesia, Contextual conditioning.

      School of Psychology

      Mathews, Room 511

      P: 9385 1048

       
      Behavioural Neuroscience Dr Vincent Laurent

      My laboratory employs sophisticated behaviour models and modern genetic tools to uncover how the brain implements motivated behaviours and adaptive decision-making. Two projects are currently available. The first examines the neural circuitry mediating fear regulation. The second project explores the cellular, molecular and neural interactions mediating the influence of environmental stimuli on choice between actions. 

      School of Psychology

      Mathews, Room 406

      P: 9385 1836

      Updated October 2021.
      Behavioural Neuroscience Dr Zhi Yi Ong Research Area: Understanding the neural circuits and their interaction with gut signals that control feeding behaviours using a combination of genetic tools, pharmacology, behavioural tasks and histology in rodent models.

      School of Psychology

      Mathews, Room 509

      P: 9385 5480

      Current. October 2021
      Behavioural Neuroscience

      Scientia Professor Bernard Balleine

      Australian Laureate Fellow
      NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellow

      My current research projects examine the psychological and neural bases of learning and motivation particularly relating goal-directed action, reward learning, predictive learning and decision making. We use animal and human subjects, and numerous cutting edge techniques to image and manipulate brain processes. For more information, see my research profile: http://www.psy.unsw.edu.au/contacts-people/academic-staff/scientia-professor--bernard-balleine.

      School of Psychology 

      Decision Neuroscience Lab

      Mathews Level 4

      Email: Scientia Professor Bernard Balleine

       

       
      Behavioural Neuroscience

      Dr Nathan Holmes

      ARC Future Fellow

      I use animal models to study the behavioural and neurobiological substrates of attention, learning and memory. I am interested in the factors which regulate these processes in a normal brain, cause disturbances to these processes in a diseased brain, and the implications of these disturbances for disorders like post-traumatic stress (PTSD). In one line of inquiry, I study how basic information is processed in the brain, and how motivational states (like fear) change the way that information is processed. In a second line of inquiry, I study how the brain deals with contrasting information, and the role of context in processing this information. You can find more information about my publications here http://www.psy.unsw.edu.au/contacts-people/research-staff/dr-nathan-holmes

      School of Psychology

      Mathews, Room 909

      Email: Dr Nathan Holmes

      Phone: (02) 9385 3523

      Fax: (02) 9385 3641

       

      Current. October 2021
      Behavioural Neuroscience

      Dr. Justine Fam

      ARC Discovery Early Career Research Fellow

      My research is in behavioural neuroscience and my projects investigate the brain circuitry that support learning and memory. To do this, I use animal models in a wide range of experimental protocols. Some projects assess the involvement of specific neurotransmitters in processing environmental cues and how that may interact with fear and/or reward learning. Other projects aim to identify how a poor diet can affect learning and motivation. For more information, please see: https://www.psy.unsw.edu.au/contacts-people/research-staff/dr-justine-fam

      School of Psychology

      Mathews, Room 709

      Email: Dr. Justine Fam

       

      Behavioural Neuroscience

      A/Prof Justine Gatt

       

      Identifying the psychological, cognitive and neuroscience markers of mental wellbeing and resilience in twins

      Neuroscience Research Australia, and School of Psychology, UNSW

        

       

      Current. Updated October 2021.
      Cognitive Neuroscience/ PsychEngineering Professor Joel Pearson The lab studies many different exciting and cutting-edge topics from new methods to map the human brain, to how we make decisions and how imagination works. Current projects include, mental imagery, human intuition and decision making, visual hallucinations and visual memory. We use all human methods (inc. fMRI, TMS, tDCS etc.)

      School of Psychology

      Mathews level 16 Future Minds Lab.

      P: 9385 3969

       

      Decision Neuroscience Lab

      School of Psychology

      Dr Jay Bertran-Gonzalez &

      Dr Miriam Matamales

      Projects: 

      1. Characterising learning-related signals in new genetically-encoded activity reporters in mice in vivo Dr Jay Bertran-Gonzalez & Dr Miriam Matamales

      2. Neuronal circuits during action learning and automatisation in behaving mice
      Dr Miriam Matamales & Dr Jay Bertran-Gonzalez

      Our goal is to understand how learning is encoded in brain circuits, and how new behaviours that did not exist before imprint in neuronal circuits when they are generated, matured and adapted upon changes in environmental rules.

      We combine behavioural procedures in mice drawn from the associative learning literature with the use of modern microscopy and transgenic technology for the recording, tracing and manipulation of specific circuits in the brain. 

      www.neuromodulab.org

      School of Psychology

       

       

      Current. October 2021
      Forensic Psychology

      Professor Richard Kemp

      Professor & Director of Master of Psychology (Forensic) Program

      I am interested in topics relating to forensic and legal psychology applied cognitive psychology, applied perception, face identification and identity verification, eyewitness memory and evidence, forensic science evidence, and jury deliberation in complex trials. Richard Kemp and Ben Newell would also be interested in jointly supervising a project on rip spotting – What is the best way to train people to spot rips at the beach? See my Google Scholar profile for a full list of publications (https://scholar.google.com.au/citations?user=gSI3LAgAAAAJ&hl=en).

       

      School of Psychology

      Mathews, Room 1005

      Email: Professor Richard Kemp

      Phone: (02) 9385 1401

      Current. October 2021
      Molecular Neuroscience Dr Asheeta Prasad

      Parkinson’s patients suffer from motor and beyond motor disorders. Using optogenetics technology, this project aims to provide better understanding and treatments for Parkinson’s Disease. 

      Drug addiction is a chronically relapsing and complex disorder. This project applies a combination behavioral, pharmacological and molecular biology tools to identify the neural circuitry underlying drug addiction.

      School of Psychology

       

      Mathews, Room 508

       

      P: 9385 6552

       

       
      Motivation, Attention and Perception Lab Dr Steven Most

      Cognition, perception, and emotion, with strong links to social psychology, clinical psychology, and neuroscience. The relationships between motivation, emotion, and attentional control, as well as how each of these factors influences basic cognitive processes such as perception and memory. The consequences of these interactions for psychological and physical health.

      School of Psychology

      Mathews, Room 705

      P: 9385 3827

       
      Nutritional Neuroscience A/Prof Denovan Begg

      Our research projects utilise a range of molecular neuroscience techniques, including optogenetics, chemogenetics and fibre photometry to examine the neuronal basis of motivated behaviours such as food and fluid intake.

      Potential thesis topics include-

      1. Neural circuits that regulate feeding following bariatric surgery

      2. The circumventricular organs and hypothalamic projections regulating thirst

      School of Psychology

      Mathews, Room 708

      P: 9385 2441

      d.begg@unsw.edu.au

      Current. October 2021

      NeuroRecovery Research Hub

      Dr Yann Quidé

      A/Prof Sylvia Gustin

      The Neuroimaging, Neurobiology and Mental Health program aims to identify biomarkers for pain, and associated mental health problems, such as anxiety, depression and posttraumatic stress disorder. In particular, the program aims to determine what is the relationship existing between chronic pain mental health problems on brain morphology and/or function.
       

      Techniques: structural, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (DWI), functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), MR spectroscopy

      Keywords: pain; imaging; mental health; connectivity

      School of Psychology

      Biomedical Sciences (Biolink) Building, Level 1

      M: y.quide@unsw.edu.au

      P: 02 9065 1883

      Current March 2022

      Psychopathology/ Cognitive Neuroscience

      A/Prof Jessica Grisham Cognitive and affective consequences of emotion regulation strategies, Thought suppression, memory, and formation of obsessions and compulsions, Cognitive bias modification in obsessive compulsive disorder.

      School of Psychology

      Mathews, Room 801

      P: 9385 3031

       
      Psychophysiology Dr Jacqueline Rushby

      Physiological responses accompanying different emotional reactions, Which autonomic indices index emotion specific arousal, The neural correlates underlying arousal, When and where emotion specific indices of arousal occur in the brain? The projects will utilise both central measures of brain function (e.g., EEG and ERPs), and peripheral measures of autonomic function (e.g., SCR, HR).

      School of Psychology

      Mathews, Room 711

      P: 9385 3591

       
      Social and Affective Neuroscience Prof Eddie Harmon-Jones The lab uses electroencephalography, event-related potentials, and transcranial direct current stimulation, along with behavioural methods, to study humans emotions.

      School of Psychology

      Mathews, Room 1105

      P: 9385 3520

      Current. October 2021
      Vision

      Dr Erin Goddard

      ARC Discovery Early Career Research Fellow

      Project: Neural mechanisms of visual perception

      Poster link

      My research aims to understand the workings of human visual system and its interaction with related brain systems (e.g., the influences of task, attention, memory on visual processes). I use behavioural methods (psychophysics) as well as neuroimaging (fMRI and MEG). You can find further information on my work here: https://scholar.google.com.au/citations?user=-ReGIFQAAAAJ&hl=en&oi=ao.

      School of Psychology

      Mathews Building, Room 1015

      Email: erin.goddard@unsw.edu.au

      Current. October 2021

      Vision

      Prof Branka Spehar

      The primary research focus of my laboratory is vision: how is visual processing different in autism and schizophrenia; why we perceive some visual patterns as beautiful; and how fragmented local information is perceptually integrated into a more global percept,. I am interested in the neural mechanisms underlying these processes (fMRI, EEG) as well as how they develop in infants and children.

      School of Psychology

      Mathews, Room 715

      P: 9385 1463

       

       

    • This page is currently under review to be updated, projects may not be current.

      Primary supervisors of Honours students from the below Institutes must have a conjoint academic appointment in the School of Biomedical Sciences or the School of Psychology. If the supervisor does not meet either of these requirements, a co-supervisor who is a member of staff within the School of Biomedical Sciences or the School of Psychology must be appointed.

      Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA)

      Group/Lab Name

      Name

      Research Area / Thesis topics

      Contact details

      Status
      Laboratory of ImmunoPsychiatry Dr Adam Walker We invesitgate how the immune system hijacks the brain and causes symptoms of psychiatric illness, typically using animal models. Projects offered: 1. Using models of infection we are testing timecourses of behavioural responses and whether treatment with drugs that promote removal of excess gluatamate from the brain may be a novel treatment for inflamamtion-indcued depression. 2. Using mouse models of breast cancer and chemotherapy, we are investigating mechanisms and treatments for cancer-related cognitive impairment and anxiety disorders in cancer patients. 3. We are evaluating stress and inflamamtory markers biological samples from children with Autism to identify if there are subtypes of autism based on biological phenotype compared to diagnostic criteria.

      Neuroscience Research Australia. Barker Street Randwick.

      Email: a.walker@neura.edu.au;

      Ph: 02 9399 1068

      Current. Updated October 2021

      Medicine/Psychiatry

      Location: Schizophrenia Research Lab (SRL) within NeuRA
      Prof Cynthia (Cyndi) Shannon Weickert Enhancing neurogenesis in adult primates brain.

      Neuroscience Research Australia

      Barker Street, Randwick

      Email: cyndi@neura.edu.au

      Current. Updated October 2021

      Medicine/Psychiatry

      Location: Schizophrenia Research Lab (SRL) within NeuRA
      Prof Cynthia (Cyndi) Shannon Weickert Increased levels of midbrain immune-related transcripts in schizophrenia: relationship to changes in neurotransmitter systems.

      Neuroscience Research Australia

      Barker Street, Randwick

      Email: cyndi@neura.edu.au

      Current. Updated October 2021

      Medicine/Psychiatry

      Location: Schizophrenia Research Lab (SRL) within NeuRA

      Prof Cynthia (Cyndi) Shannon Weickert

      Dr Tertia Purves-Tyson

      The role of the microbiome and metabolic syndrome in schizophrenia and related psychoses.

      Neuroscience Research Australia

      Barker Street, Randwick

      Email: cyndi@neura.edu.au

      Email:t.purves-tyson@neura.edu.au

      Current. Updated October 2021

      Medicine/Psychiatry

      Location: Schizophrenia Research Lab (SRL) within NeuRA
      Dr Tertia Purves-Tyson Role of neuroinflammation and neurotransmitter systems in the improved cognition induced by estrogen receptor modulation.

      Neuroscience Research Australia

      Barker Street, Randwick

      Email:t.purves-tyson@neura.edu.au

      Current. Updated October 2021
      Psychiatric Genetics

      A/Prof Jan Fullerton

      Research Area: Bipolar Disorder is a severe and debilitating psychiatric condition, for which treatment is based on sequential trial-and-error of different medicines, which are only effective in a subset of patients. The biological predictors of treatment response remain largely obscure and will be the focus of this project.
       
      Techniques: genomic risk profiling using polygenic risk scores; statistical analysis, bioinformatics; pharmacogenetics

      Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA)

      139 Barker St, Randwick

      P: 9399 1836

      NeuRA Supervisor profile

      UNSW Researcher profile

       
      Active and Healthy Ageing Prof Kim DelbaereDr Kylie RadfordDr Kim van Schooten ,  Dr Louise Lavrencic & , Dr Adrienne Withall

      Our group develops innovative approaches to promote healthy and active ageing. We focus on understanding physical, cognitive and psychological contributors to fall risk, dementia and inactivity. To address these contributors, we employ eHealth interventions to promote physical activity. Our target populations are: community-dwelling older people aged 65 years and over, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people aged 55 years and over, and a range of clinical populations (mild cognitive impairment, dementia, peripheral artery disease, Parkinson’s disease, etc). A few examples of topics of interest are:

      • The effect of app-based exercise programs on balance, cognition and fall risk
      • The effect of self-managed psychological intervention programs on fear of falling
      • The effect of depression and fear of falling on daily activity levels
      • Understanding the relation between cognitive decline and physical health
      • Factors associated with uptake and adherence to exercise interventions 
      • Development of novel wearable technologies to detect fall risk in daily life

      Neuroscience Research Australia

      School of Psychology / UNSW Science

      School of Population Health / UNSW Health & Medicine

      Current. October 2021
      Brain Structure and Function

      Scientia Prof George Paxinos

      Dr Teri Furlong

      Research project 1: The impact of high-calorie food on brain and behavior
      Binge eating of high calorie foods results in a loss of control over food-seeking behavior. This project will investigate the neural mechanisms underlying this effect using a rodent model of binge eating. Pharmacological and microscopy techniques will be used to implicate the brain’s orexin system and to restore normal behavior. 
       
      Research project 2: treating cognitive and motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease
      A preclinical model of Parkinson’s disease will be used to investigate methods to reverse deficits that result from striatal dopamine loss. This could include deficits in motor performance, habitual actions or brain neurochemistry. Techniques may include DREADDS, behaviour, and/or immunohistochemistry/microscopy.
       
      There is also a similar project available centred on brain and/or behaviour in an autism model. 

      Neuroscience Research Australia

      Barker Street, Randwick

      P: 9399 1096
       

      Falls, Injury and Balance Research Centre

       

      Prof Stephen LordDr Jasmine Menant and Dr Daina Sturnieks

      Research area: Fall prevention in older people

       

      Topics: 

      Evaluation of step training using actual slips and trips in older people and people with Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis. [We have new systems for training older adults to avoid slips and trips in a safe laboratory environment. The apparatus involves an overground slip/trip walkway and a slip/trip treadmill (i.e. sudden acceleration /deceleration).]

       

      Evaluation of innovative exergames for feasibility and effectiveness using randomized clinical trial designs. 

       

      Remote detection of Freezing of Gait in people with Parkinson's Disease

       

      Visuo-spatial processing required for obstacle avoidance in young and older people, using motion capture to investigate behavioural outcomes and a freely-worn brain imaging device - functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) to study neural outcomes (pre-determined cortical regions of interest).

      Neuroscience Research Australia

      Barker Street, Randwick

       

       

       

      Neuroscience Research Australia &

      School of Medical Sciences(SoMS)

       

      Dr Annie ButlerProf Simon GandeviaDr Martin Héroux

      Projects: 

      1. Dr Annie Butler, Prof Simon Gandevia, Dr Martin Héroux.

      How the configuration of our upper limbs impacts how we perceive their location. 

      2. Prof Simon Gandevia, Dr Annie Butler, Dr Martin Héroux, Dr. David Kennedy (UTS)

      Using tablet-based technology to test human body representation in the clinical setting

      Neuroscience Research Australia

      Barker Street, Randwick

      a.butler@neura.edu.au (project 1)

      s.gandevia@neura.edu.au (project 2)

      Current. October 2021

      Sensorimotor control.
      Neural code, bionics.

       

      A/Prof Birznieks We offer wide variety of human research projects related to sensorimotor control, hand function. tactile sensory system, psychophysics, neural code, computational neuroscience machine learnining of neural signals, bionics.
      We use some very sophisticated electronic equipment and robotic manipulators.. We have projects for students with various skills regardless whether you have basic neuroscience, psychology, engineering or computer science background.

      Neuroscience Research Australia

      Barker Street, Randwick

      P: 9399 1672

      i.birznieks@neura.edu.au  

      Current. Updated October 2021
      Peters Group Dr Ruth Peters Does intergenerational practice, bringing prefrail older adults and preschool children together in mutual activities, reduce older adult frailty and improve quality of life?

      Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA)

      Barker Street, Randwick

      P: 9399 1015

      Current. Updated October 2021
      Peters Group Dr Ruth Peters Intergenerational practice, bringing older adults and young children together for mutual benefit? Psychology/NeuRA Current. Updated October 2021

      Other Institutions

      Group/Lab Name

      Name

      Research Area / Thesis topics

      Contact details

      Status

      Academic Unit of Child Psychiatry South West Sydney

      Prof Valsamma Eapen Research topics: Autism, Tourette Syndrome, ADHD, genotypes, neurocognitive predictors of treatment response in autism; genotypes and link with stimulant response in ADHD; genetic and neurophysiological underpinnings of Tourette Syndrome

      ICAMHS, Mental Health Centre, L1

      Liverpool Hospital, Elizabeth Street

      Liverpool, NSW 2170

      P: 96164364

       
      Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing (CHeBA)

      Dr Nady Braidy

      Prof Henry Brodaty

      Dr John Crawford

      Dr Karen Croot

      Dr Jiyang Jiang

      Dr Nicole Kochan

      Dr Ben Lam

      Dr Darren Lipnicki

      Dr Karen Mather

      Dr Katya Numbers

      Dr Anne Poljak

      Dr Suraj Samtani

      Dr Anbu Thalamuthu

      A/Prof Wei Wen

       

      All topics in relation to cognitive brain ageing and dementia including neuropsychology, epidemiology, neuroimaging, genetics & genomics, proteomics and statistics.

      Large data sets available for analysis in relation to brain imaging, genetics of dementia, blood biomarkers of dementia, epidemiology of cognitive decline.

      Neuroimaging and brain ageing laboratories are also available.

      All topics in relation to neuropsychiatry and behavioural neurology.
      Special interest in drug-induced movement disorders, epilepsy, Tourette syndrome, cognitive disorders.

       

      visit the CHEeBA website for more info: https://cheba.unsw.edu.au

       

       

      All topics in relation to neuropsychiatry and behavioural neurology.

      Special interest in drug-induced movement disorders, epilepsy, Tourette syndrome, cognitive disorders.

       

       

      Psychiatry / CHeBA

      P: (02) 9065 0398  E: s.dean@unsw.edu.au

       

      Current. Updated November 2021
      Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing (CHeBA) Dr Suraj Samtani Psychosocial research: Role of positive and negative social interactions in cognitive ageing. Assessment of psychological processes related to the mental health of older adults.  Psychiatry / Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing (CHeBA) Current.  November 2021
      Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing (CHeBA) Dr Jiyang Jiang Changes in cerebrovascular burdens in ageing Psychiatry / Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing (CHeBA) Current.  November 2021
      Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing (CHeBA) Prof Henry Brodaty
      • MEMORY AND AGEING STUDY (MAS)
        https://cheba.unsw.edu.au/research-projects/sydney-memory-and-ageing-study
        • What is the psychological health over time of MAS participants aged 70-90yo. We have data longitudinally for up to 14 years on depression, anxiety, K10/PHQ9, apathy, positive mental health, satisfaction with life
      • Correlations
      • Psychotropics
      • Course
      • Outcomes e.g. association with dementia, death
        • Mild behavioural impairment (MBI) (Ismail Z et al). Does MBI in cognitively normal older people predict cognitive decline over time? Examine data from 1037 MAS participants had Neuropsychiatric Inventory ratings at T1 and have been followed up over 14 years.
        • Progression of behavioural symptoms in population of cognitively normal people? 
          What is the natural history of behaviours and psychological symptoms associated with dementia (BPSD) over 14 years? 
        • c) & d) could be separate or combined into one project
      • COGNISANCE – Codesigning Diagnostic process and post-diagnostic care
        https://cheba.unsw.edu.au/consortia/cognisance
        • Interviewing participants (people diagnosed with dementia in last 12 months and their family members) about their experience with receiving the diagnosis and about what advice they had about how to live well with diagnosis 
      Qualitative study of Sydney older people with dementia and their family members and their doctors/health care practitioners
      Psychiatry / Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing (CHeBA) Current.  November 2021
      Developmental Disability Neuropsychiatry (3DN) Dr Samuel Arnold & Dr Jacqueline Rushby

      The Australian Longitudinal Study of Autistic Adults (ALSAA) is a nation-wide study of autistic adults (aged 25+ years), their carers / family members, and a community comparison sample.  Now in the midst of time 2 data gathering, multiple project opportunities exist for motivated students with interest in the area of autism.  In combination with our sister Study of Australian School-leavers with Autism (SASLA) a large existing sample covering ages 15-80 years is available.  Particular areas of interest that could be explored by potential scholars include:

      •  Love, relationships and happiness
      •  Social anxiety measurement
      •  Longitudinal loneliness and personality
      •  Physical activities and mental health

      Many further data points are also available.  Data gathered is well-suited to add-on mixed methods investigations.  ALSAA utilises an inclusive research approach with guidance from a group of autistic advisors.

      School of Psychiatry

      P: 9385 0620

       
      Eating Disorders Prof Herbert HerzogDr Yan ShiDr Lei Zhang & Dr Nicola Lee Our laboratory's major goal is to understand how the brain, notably the hypothalamus, regulates appetite and body weight. Defects in the brain pathways that regulate these processes may be responsible for wasting conditions such as anorexia nervosa and cancer cachexia as well as the metabolic resistance to weight loss that often occurs when people try to shed excess weight. We use state of the art molecular biology and physiology technologies to address these questions.

      Neuroscience Division

      Garvan Institute of Medical Research

      384 Victoria Street, Darlinghurst

      P: 9295 8296

       
      Genetics & Neuroscience of Psychosis

      A/Prof Melissa Green

      Dr Yann Quide

      Our group conducts multi-disciplinary research of psychotic disorders that bridges the complementary disciplines of epidemiology and neuroscience. Our neuroscience work integrates systems-level biology (genetics, epigenetics, neural, cognitive, stress and immune systems) with clues from epidemiology about environmental risk factors (mostly stress-related), to determine processes involved in the development of psychosis that are common among different diagnoses (e.g., schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, and/or bipolar disorder). We collaborate with researchers at the Black Dog Institute and Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA).

      School of Psychiatry

      St Vincent's Hospital/ NeuRA

      P: 8382 1584

      Current 2022
      Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering (GSBmE)

      Prof Nigel Lovell

      Dr Amr Al Abed

      Project: Light and optical-electrodes for electrophysiology sensing and modulation

      Research area: Neurophysiology recording techniques, cardiac electrophysiology

      Samuels Building, UNSW

      P: 9385 3922

      Current October 2021
      Neurodegeneration and Neurogenomics A/Prof Antony Cooper

      Our major focus is Parkinson's Disease and other neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's Disease. The lack of knowledge of the underlying mechanisms responsible for causing Parkinson's Disease (PD) and its progression is the major impediment to therapeutic advances and a cure. To achieve earlier diagnoses, monitoring disease progression and the development of treatments, our research focuses uses multifaceted approaches to discover the cascade of molecular and cellular events that cause the loss of neurons in PD.

      Neuroscience Division

      Garvan Institute of Medical Research

      384 Victoria Street, Darlinghurst

      P: 9295 8238

       
      Neuroendocrinology Dr Yanchuan Shi Research area/Thesis topic: My group’s primary interests centre on the neuroendocrine control of obesity and diabetes with a special focus on the NPY system. we aim to understand how centrally- and peripherally produced NPY and PYY affects appetite, fat metabolism, insulin secretion/action and energy/glucose homeostasis. By employing sophisticated transgenic animal models and cutting edge molecular techniques, we are able to uncover the critical functions of the NPY system in the brain as well as in the peripheral tissues including brown/white fat and pancreatic islets. Moreover, the key molecular pathways and neuronal circuitries underlying the functions will also be investigated.

      Neuroscience Division

      Garvan Institute of Medical Research

      384 Victoria Street, Darlinghurst

      P: 9295 8530 (office) or 9295 8301 (lab)

       

      Neuro-inflammation

      A/Prof David Brown

      Neuro-inflammation:- CNS immunoregulation

      Animal models of Multiple Sclerosis
      Animal Models of Spinal Cord Injury
       

      St Vincent’s Centre for Applied Medical Research

      St Vincent’s Hospital Research Precinct

      P: 8382 4952

       

      Sydney Neurostimulation Centre

      Dr Stevan Nikolin

      Dr Donel Martin

      Prof Colleen Loo

       

      Projects:

      1. Developing an individualised method of dosing for transcranial direct current stimulation

      2. Developing an EEG-based dosing methodology for prefrontal transcranial magnetic stimulation

      School of Psychiatry

      Black Dog Institute, Randwick

      P: 9382 3721 (Randwick)

      W: http://www.sync.unsw.edu.au/

      Current. October 2021.
      Paediatric Neuromuscular Diseases  Dr Michelle Farrar

      Research area: Neuromuscular diseases in children.

      Studies include understanding  causes, measuring disease progression and improving the management of neuromuscular diseases in children.

      School of Women's & Children's Health

      Level 3, Sydney Children's Hopsital, Randwick

      P: 9382 1799

       

      Retinal Networks Laboratory

      School of Optometry & Vision Science

      Prof Michael Kalloniatis

      We investigate the anatomical and functional characteristics of the retina including how retinal circuitry operates with regards to neurotransmitter release, neurotransmitter receptor localisation and receptor functionality. Using animal models for inherited retinal dystrophy or create metabolic insult (ischaemia/reperfusion), we can compare the retinal network of normal and diseased retinas and analyse the functional remodelling which occurs during retinal disease. 

      Centre for Eye Health

       

      Rupert Myers Building (south wing), UNSW

       

      P: 8115 0710

       
      School of Optometry and Vision Science & Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering Dr Lisa Nivison-Smith, Dr Mohit Shivadasani

      Our group investigates the cellular mechanisms of memory formation. We aim to identify of novel mechanisms that modulate or preserve neuronal connections that may be translated into treatments for disorders of impaired or aberrant connectivity such as Alzheimer’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder and addiction. Our approach includes patch-clamp electrophysiological recordings and live-cell high resolution fluorescence imaging.

      Projects:

      Does Neural Selectivity in the Retina Depend on the Extent of Retinal Degeneration – Implications for Bionic Eyes

      Dr Lisa Nivison-Smith l.nivison-smith@unsw.edu.au Current. October 2021
      Sensory Neuroscience: Hearing Research

      Prof David Ryugo

      Dr Michael Muniak

      We use electrophysiological methods where we characterize the response properties of auditory neurons, and then inject the recording site with a dye.  The dye stains local neurons and their axon projections, which permit us to study how specific neuron populations are interconnected.  This approach reveals neural circuits and when combined with immunocytochemistry, can uncover which neurotransmitters are involved.  The structure of the involved cells and their synapses is established by quantitative light and electron microscopic methods.  Knowledge about how groups of neurons are interconnected yields clues about the processing of neural information, and can suggest sequential versus parallel processing, signal amplification, feedback and/or lateral inhibition, coincidence detection, and so on.  In short, structure is one foundation of function.

      Garvan Institute of Medical Research

      384 Victoria Street, Darlinghurst

      P: 9295 8288

      Current. October 2021

       

       

  • Dr Jennie Cederholm, Neurhonours Convenor. 
    T: (02) 9065 7495

    Dr Teri Furlong, Neurhonours Co-Convenor.

    Mr John Redmond, Neurhonours Administrator.
    T: (02) 9065 6070

    Email for all: neurhonoursadmin@unsw.edu.au

Neuroscience Honours Committee