MNDRIA's people

The Motor Neurone Disease Research Institute of Australia (MNDRIA) is the research arm of MND Australia. 

 


PrincipAL member

MND Australia is the principal member of MNDRIA.
 

member

Dr Ian Davis, diagnosed with MND in 2011, is the founder of the Cure for MND Foundation.
 

BOARD MEMBERS

The Board members of MNDRIA are the same as the Board of MND Australia.
 

RESEARCH COMMITTEE MEMBERS


The MND Australia Research Committee members review grant applications and determine the distribution of funds within the set policies, and according to the criteria for scientific assessment. Read more about the grant award process.

Members of the MNDRIA Research Committee: 

Professor Matthew Kiernan, NSW
Chairman

Professor Matthew Kiernan is the Bushell Chair of Neurology at the University of Sydney, Co-Director of the Brain and Mind Research Institute and Professor of Neurology at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. Professor Kiernan and his research team have established methods to investigate and diagnose neurological diseases, the latter particularly in relation to MND. Professor Kiernan leads the ForeFront Motor Neurone Disease Research Clinic at the University of Sydney. Professor Kiernan is also the Chairman of the MND Research Committee, the Vice President of the Australian Brain Foundation and the Editor-In-Chief of the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry.
 

Associate Professor David Berlowitz, VIC

Associate Professor David Berlowitz, a cardio respiratory and research physiotherapist, is Chief Executive at the Institute for Breathing and Sleep at the Austin Hospital Hospital in Melbourne. Dr Berlowtiz's PhD examined sleep and breathing in the first year following acute quadriplegia and found that acute cervical cord injury causes obstructive sleep apnoea. Dr Berlowitz's other research includes chronic disease management, program evaluation and the use of non -invasive ventilation in ventilatory failure, particularly in MND and obesity hypoventilation. 
 
David-Berlowitz-(1).jpg  

Associate Professor Ian Blair, NSW

Associate Professor Ian Blair heads a research group investigating the molecular and cellular basis of MND at the Australian School of Advanced Medicine, Macquarie University. The aims of his research are to identify genes that either cause or predispose to MND and study how defects in these genes lead to motor neurone death. Dr Blair's research career has focused on various neurological diseases including MND, bipolar disorder, Joubert syndrome, sensory neuropathy, Charcot Marie Tooth disorder (CMT), and the spinal cerebellar ataxias (SCA).
 
Associate-Professor-Ian-Blair.jpg

Associate Professor Tracey Dickson, Tasmania

Associate Professor Tracey Dickson heads a research group investigating the cellular mechanism underlying MND at the Menzies Research Institute, University of Tasmania. The group's research focuses on using a range of novel in vitro primary culture models, in conjunction with transgenic models and human post-mortem analysis. Dr Dickson's broader research program investigates at the cellular level mechanisms relevant to a range of neurodegenerative diseases including Frontotemporal dementia and Parkinson's disease and also traumatic brain injury. Dr Dickson's goal through identifying the sequence of pathogenic events occurring in MND is to identify novel therapeutic targets. 
 
AProf-Tracey-Dickson.jpg
 

Professor Simon Foote, ACT 

Professor Simon Foote is the Director of the John Curtin School of Medical Research. Professor Foote and his group study the genetics of diseases that affect isolated and less affluent populations. By investigating how genes affect people’s susceptibility to diseases caused by parasites, they are able to design new drugs that are less prone to causing the disease to become drug resistant. Professor Foote was previously the director of the Menzies Research Institute in Hobart, and the Dean of the Australian School of Medicine at Macquarie University.
 
Professor-Simon-Foote-(2).jpg

Professor Glenda Halliday, NSW

Professor Glenda Halliday is a Professor of Neuroscience at the School of Medical Science at the University of New South Wales and Director of the Sydney Brain Bank. Her broad interest lies in identifying and understanding the pathobiology of different stages of neurodegeneration in both movement disorders and dementias. She heads the Molecular Neuroscience and Brain Pathology Laboratory at Neuroscience Research Australia. Professor Halliday’s research into neurodegeneration has had a significant impact on the current understanding of disease progression, with core concepts incorporated into current consensus diagnostic criteria for different non-Alzheimer dementias and Parkinson’s disease. 
 
Professor-Glenda-Halliday-(1).jpg

Dr Susan Mathers, VIC

Consultant Neurologist at Monash Medical Centre, and the Clinical Director of Neurology at Calvary Health Care Bethlehem, Melbourne, which provides neuro-rehabilitative and neuro-palliative services to people with progressive neurological diseases including over 200 people with MND.  Dr Mathers is a member of the MND Research Tissue Bank of Victoria and a founding member of the Australian MND Register. Dr Mathers' main interests are in the management of chronic progressive neurological diseases and models of care. She is currently involved in a project to implement a state-wide integrated care service for people with progressive neurological diseases in Victoria.
 

Professor Pamela McCombe, QLD

Professor Pamela McCombe’s research interest is in the field of neuroimmunology, both in how the immune system causes disease of the nervous system, and more recently in how the immune system might contribute to recovery from damage. Much of her work in neuroimmunology has been done in the fields of MS and in neuromuscular disorders. Professor McCombe's interest in neuromuscular diseases led to studies of ALS, both in neurophysiology and in immunology. 
 
Professor-Pamela-McCombe.jpg

Professor Dominic Rowe AM, NSW

Professor Dominic Rowe is the Inaugural Professor of Neurology at the Australian School of Advanced Medicine, Macquarie University. Professor Rowe is the co-author of four textbooks and over thirty research publications. Professor Rowe studied biochemistry and medicine at the University of Sydney, and then completed training in internal medicine and neurology in Sydney before completing neurology training at Queen’s Square and Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK. He was the Chairman of the Research Committee from 2004 to 2014. 
 
Professor Dominic Rowe

Professor Dominic Thyagarajan, VIC

Professor of Neuroscience in the Department of Medicine, Southern Clinical School (Monash University) and Directory of Neurology (Monash Health), based in Monash Medical Centre, Clayton. Professor Thyagarajan heads one of the largest neurology departments in Australia (22 neurologists) in a hospital network servicing about one third of Victoria's population. It has substantial undergraduate and postgraduate medical training, teaching and research activities. The spectrum of research is broad, ranging from clinical research to laboratory science.
 
Professor-Dominic-Thyagarajan.jpg

Professor Steve Vucic, NSW

Professor of Neurology, University of Sydney and Senior Staff specialist in Neurology at Westmead Hospital. Professor Vucic's research interest is in determining the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying the development of MND, in particular determining the site of disease onset. In order to address this issue he was part of a team that developed a novel neurophysiological technique for determining cortical function. In addition to furthering the understanding of the pathophysiological mechanisms in MND, Professor Vucic's research has potentially resulted in the development of a novel test which can aid in the diagnosis of MND.
 
AProf-Steve-Vucic.jpg

Professor Naomi Wray, QLD

Professor Naomi Wray is the co-director of the Centre of Neurogenetics and Statistical Genomics at the Queensland Brain Institute and National Health and Medical Research Council Principal Research Fellow. Naomi and her team study the genetic contribution to a range of common diseases and disorders, such as schizophrenia and motor neurone disease. Together with Associate Professor Ian Blair, Naomi leads  the team awarded the MND Australia Ice Bucket Challenge Grant to establish the Sporadic ALS Australian Systems Genomics Consortium, the largest collaborative MND project to be undertaken in Australia.
 
Professor-Naomi-Wray.jpg


 
 

Janet Nash – Executive Director Research, MND Australia

Janet had a career in neuroscience research before joining the MND Association of New South Wales in 1995 as their first Care Coordinator. This was the beginning of the MND NSW Family Support Service. Janet left MND NSW in 2005 to take up the role of Executive Officer of the MND Research Institute of Australia (MNDRIA). MNDRIA amalgamated with MND Australia in 2010 and Janet continues as Executive Director Research.
 
Janet Nash

 

RESEARCH COMMITTEE CONFLICT OF INTEREST POLICY

 

RESEARCH COMMITTEE TERMS OF REFERENCE