Doctor of Philosophy
University of Utrecht, the Netherlands
Masters of Molecular Biology
University of Queensland, Australia
Bachelor of Science (Biomedical Science)
University of Western Sydney, Australia
I am interested in the wiring of the brain, how neurons grow and form neural circuits and their functions. My research focuses on neural circuitry underlying complex behaviors such as learning, memory, reward related behavior and movement. Disturbances in the neural circuitry of these behaviours contribute to pathophysiology of several neurological disorders such as drug addiction, depression, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease and Multiple sclerosis. I apply unique and interdisciplinary research tools of molecular biology, optogenetics, chemogenetics and behavioral neuroscience.
Sole CI Grants
2019-2021 National Health and Medical Research Council $507,000
2018 Silver Star Award, UNSW $20,000
2017-2018 Parkinson’s NSW seed fund $44,000
2017-2020 Discovery Early Career Research Fellow $388,000
2018 Vice Chancellor’s Chidcare Fund $1600
2016-2017 Parkinson’s NSW seed fund $40,000
2015-2017 Career Advancement Funds, University of New South Wales $10,000
2011 Thesis provision funds, Rudolf Magnus Institute €1000
2019 The UNSW Research Infrastructure Scheme with Claire Shepherd and team $108,000
2018 Brain Sciences and Translational Neuroscience Seed Funding scheme. Asheeta Prasad, Claire Shepherd, Adith Mohan and Perminder Sachdev $19,983
2017 Brain Sciences UNSW: Dr Asheeta Prasad, Professor Michael Farrell and Professor Gavan McNally $1565
2017 Brain Sciences UNSW: Dr Asheeta Prasad, Professor Rick Richardson and Professor Margaret Morris $1700
2017 Discovery Early Career Research Award
2017 Travel award from Asia-Pacific Alcohol Addiction Research Society
2016 Finalist Parkinson’s NSW Young Investigator
2016 FENS-SfN Summer School on Cellular Mechanisms and Networks in Addiction
2005 University of Queensland Dean’s Commendation for Academic Excellence in Masters of Molecular Biology
Gibson, G.D., Prasad, A.A., Jean-Richard-dit-Bressel, P., Yau, J.O., Millan, E.Z., Liu, S., Campbell, E.J., Marchant, N.J., Power, J.M., Lawrence, A.J., & McNally, G.P. Segregated accumbens shell output pathways promote versus prevent relapse to alcohol seeking, accepted, Neuron IF: 13.97
Significance: shows anatomical and functional segregation of AcbSh output pathways to ventral tegmental area pathway promotes relapse whereas whereas the lateral hypothalamus pathway prevents in relapse.
Significance: This paper showed that VP output pathways to the subthalamic nucleus and also to the ventral tegmental area are necessary for reinstatement of alcohol seeking.
Significance: Comprehensive review of the behavioural and brain mechanisms enabling contexts to promote and prevent relapse to drug seeking.
Significance: Established the embryonic ontogeny of the two main striatal pathways and identified novel roles for the axon guidance receptor Frizzled3 in uncharacterized aspects of striatal pathway formation
Significance: The first paper using optogenetics in freely moving animals published from Australia. It showed that the striatopallidal pathway, previously thought to be obligatory for all forms of relapse, does not mediate context-induced reinstatement. Instead, a different pallidal input must be important for this relapse.
Significance: Shows relevance of proteins other than orexin within the lateral hypothalamus that may contribute to drug seeking behaviour.
Significance: Shows multiple role of Wnt5a on the development of dopaminergic neurons.
Significance: The first paper to demonstrate the molecular mechanism regulating the orientation of dopaminergic neurons.
Significance: Comprehensive description of ontogeny of dopaminergic axons.
Significance: Describes the crucial role for Semaphorin 3F in development of dopaminergic circuitry.
Significance: A detailed study of Bmi1 knockout and overexpression in mammary stem cells.
Brain awaress week 2015,2016, 2017
Pint of Science, Beautiful Mind 2017: https://pintofscience.com.au/about/
Parkinsons Scientific Exhibition : https://www.scienceweek.net.au/parkinsons-scientific-art/
Blitz Radio, Science Fair with Jo 13/10/2016
In Conversation’: Artists & Scientists, Manly Art Gallery & Museum 19/02/17
Panelist for UNSW STEMM Symposium 17/08/2016 Part of Bluestockings/Women in Higher Education Week, providing perspective and inspiration to current students
AAS EMCR Forum - Science Pathways 2016: Future Leaders 26-27th September, 2016 Sponsored by School of Psychology, UNSW
My Research Supervision