Professor Cynthia Shannon Weickert, BA Mphil PhD -Macquarie Group Foundation Chair of Schizophrenia Research
Faculty – Department of Psychiatry, University of New South Wales
This is a joint position between Schizophrenia Research Institute, the University of New South Wales and the Neuroscience Research Australia.
I made seminal contributions to the conceptualization of schizophrenia as a neurodevelopmental disorder and am best known for my pioneering work on BDNF and estrogen receptor. I also have led studies that identified the birthplace of neuronal precursors in the human brain and studies that showed the robust postnatal recruitment of cortical inhibitory neurons is abnormal in schizophrenia. My work challenges long-held assumptions about human brain development including the nature of male-female differences and saliency of synaptic pruning
I am recognized as a leader in molecular human cortical development and my papers are the most numerous in the field.My work has broad impact outside psychiatry including examining molecular mechanisms by which hormones and growth factors cooperate to control gene expression and experimental examination of how sex hormones impact social development of primates in adolescence.