Research Staff

 

The Research Staff at MAPrc are a diverse group of dedicated and dynamic people, with a focus on ground-breaking and innovative outcomes for participant-oriented care. We acknowledge the participant as the hub of all our research activities, and make every effort to ensure continuity of optimum health and wellbeing, in an holistic manner. Our values encompass caring and responding appropriately to our patients/participants; encouraging and achieving excellence through continual learning and improvement; working in partnership and co-operation with all allied health services; being responsible and accountable for the services we provide; and treating all people with integrity, in a friendly, trusting and respectful manner and environment.
 
MAPrc nurtures a friendly and supportive environment, where team work and individual effort are not only encouraged but applauded. Our work incorporates all areas of mental health, as discussed under ‘Our Research’. We strive to provide educational updates and opportunities to all staff, and encourage the dissemination of knowledge in all areas of the health sector. 
 
Research activities include project advertisement, ethics processing, project recruitment, participant interaction, project co-ordination and data analysis; development of clinical networks; conference attendance and project presentations; publication of study progress and results within a variety of reputable journals and departmental representation at a diverse range of mental health forums, both nationally and internationally.
 
 

David Elliot

 

David Elliot PhD, NBSc
 
David Elliot is a Research Nurse at MAPrc, a position he started in November 2009. David is currently part of the Psychopharmacology team working on medication trials.
 
David obtained his BNSc from The University of Melbourne in December 2008 following which he spent a year working on the acute inpatient psychiatric unit, first floor, at The Alfred Hospital. From 1999 to 2007, David ran his own business designing, manufacturing and wholesaling ceramic homewares. David completed his Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Western Ontario, Canada in 1991. After a postdoctoral fellowship spent in Switzerland studying photovoltaic cells he found himself employed at the CSIRO in Clayton, Victoria in 1992. During his employment at the CSIRO (1992 -1999), David studied the fabrication and optical properties of ultrasmall semiconductor particles in thin films.
 
 
 
 

Dr Melanie Emonson

Dr Melanie Emonson BBNS (Hons) DPsych (Clin Neuro)

Research Co-ordinator/Research Psychologist

Melanie completed her Doctor of Psychology (Clinical Neuropsychology) at Monash University in 2018 under the supervision of A/Prof Kate Hoy, Prof Paul Fitzgerald and Dr Nigel Rogasch. Her thesis investigated the neurobiological and cognitive effects of transcranial direct current stimulation in healthy aging and mild cognitive impairment.  Melanie is the current Research Co-ordinator of the Cognitive Therapeutics Research Program and a Research Psychologist for the Therapeutic Brain Stimulation Team at the Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre. In this position she co-ordinates the randomised clinical trial investigating theta burst stimulation for the treatment of mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease and projects investigating the use of non-invasive brain stimulation techniques to improve cognitive functioning in healthy adults and mild cognitive impairment.

Research interests include investigating the therapeutic benefit of non-invasive brain stimulation treatments to assist cognitive functioning in healthy aging, Alzheimer’s disease and mild cognitive impairment. Melanie is also passionate about the development of neuropsychological interventions to improve daily functioning and quality of life for individuals with cognitive dysfunction.

Email: melanie.emonson@monash.edu

Phone: (03) 9076 9864 

 

Publications

Hoy, K.E., Arnold, S.A., Emonson, M.R.L., Daskalakis, Z..J., & Fitzgerald, P.B. (2014). An investigation into the effects of tDCS dose on cognitive performance over time in patients with schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Research, 155(1-3), 96-100. 

Hoy, K.E., Emonson, M.R.L., Arnold, S.A., Daskalakis, Z..J., & Fitzgerald, P.B. (2013). Testing the limits: Investigating the effect of tDCS dose on working memory enhancement in healthy controls. Neuropsychologia, 51(9), 1777-1784. 

 

Media

O’Connell, B. (2015, June 4). Dementia trial of electro-doping. Herald Sun, p17.

Smith, B. (2018, July 3). Brain stimulation reduces aggression, boosts moral judgement in human trial. Retrieved from abc.net.au/news

Kirsten Gainsford

Kirsten Gainsford
 
Kirsten joined  the Brain Stimulation and Neurosciences team in 2016. She is a research assistant working with Associate Professor Kate Hoy. 

Sarah Haines

Sarah Haines BA, GradDipPsych (Hons)

Research Assistant, Therapeutic brain Stimulation Team

Sarah Haines is a Research Assistant for the Therapeutic Brain Stimulation Team at the Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre. She has clinical and research experience with psychiatric populations including major depression, anxiety, and eating disorders, as well as neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease and multiple sclerosis. She is passionate about patient-centred care and maintains a strong focus on respect and sensitivity toward the patient’s experience.

Sarah is a member of the Australian Psychological Society, Australasian Brain Stimulation Society, and Eating Disorders Victoria.

Sarah has demonstrated an aptitude for research, receiving first class honours at the University of Melbourne for her research thesis and the Dean’s commendation for academic excellence at Monash University. She intends to pursue her clinical research career through a Doctorate of Psychology in 2019.

Current Research

Sarah is currently coordinating a research program focused on developing novel therapeutic brain stimulation techniques to treat Alzheimer’s disease. She is also involved in research investigating the efficacy of Ketamine as a treatment for depression. Sarah is also coordinating an upcoming multi-site clinical research trial looking at personalised brain stimulation approaches for treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. As part of her role Sarah recruits participants and administers neuropsychological assessments.

Aron Hill

Dr Aron Hill, BA(Hons), BSc, PhD

Position: Research Fellow, Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre

Aron Hill is a post-doctoral researcher within the Therapeutic Brain Stimulation team at MAPrc.

Aron completed an Honours degree at Monash University in 2012 where he used transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to explore the human mirror neuron system. He subsequently completed a PhD under the supervision of A/Prof. Kate Hoy, Dr Nigel Rogasch and Prof. Paul Fitzgerald where he used multi-modal neuroimaging techniques (EEG, TMS-EEG) to investigate the neurophysiological correlates of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) paradigms aimed at enhancing cognitive performance.   

Aron’s Current research focusses on studying the effects of plasticity-inducing brain stimulation protocols including tDCS, transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) and intermittent theta-burst stimulation (iTBS) within both healthy and clinical cohorts. Aron is particularly interested in using these techniques to better understand the neurobiological processes underlying cognition.     

Email: aron.hill@monash.edu

Google scholar: https://scholar.google.com.au/citations?user=MOxnBVMAAAAJ&hl=en&oi=ao

 

Selected publications

1. Hill, A.T., Rogasch, N.C., Fitzgerald, P.B., & Hoy, K.E (2017). Effects of prefrontal bipolar and high-definition transcranial direct current stimulation on cortical reactivity and working memory in healthy adults. NeuroImage 152, 142-157.

 

2.Hill, A.T., Rogasch, N.C., Fitzgerald, P.B., & Hoy, K.E (2016). TMS-EEG: A window into the effects of transcranial electrical stimulation in non-motor brain regions. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 64, 175-184.

 

3. Hill, A.T., Fitzgerald, P.B., & Hoy, K.E (2015). Effects of anodal transcranial direct current stimulation on working memory: A systematic review and meta-analysis of findings from healthy and neuropsychiatric populations. Brain Stimulation, 9, 197-208.

4. Hill, A.T., Fitzgibbon, B.M., Arnold, S., Rinehart, N.J., Fitzgerald, P.B., & Enticott, P.G. (2013). Modulation of putative mirror neuron activity by both positively and negatively valenced affective stimuli: A TMS study. Behavioural Brain Research, 249, 116-123.

5. Chung, S.W., Hill, A.T., Rogasch, N.C., Hoy, K. E., & Fitzgerald, P.B (2016). Use of theta-burst stimulation in changing excitability of motor cortex: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 63, 43-64.

 

 

 

Iris Liang

Iris Liang – BSc (Hons)

Research Assistant, Women Mental Health Division

Iris is a Study Coordinator and Research Assistant in the Women’s Mental Health division of MAPrc. Iris graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Melbourne majoring in human anatomy and physiology, and completed her research thesis with first class honours. Based at the Melbourne Brain Centre in the Royal Melbourne Hospital, her Honours research examined the correlation of different imaging modalities in patients treated with intra-arterial therapy following acute ischaemic stroke. Following this, Iris joined MAPrc in 2018 where she coordinates two clinical trials investigating the use of adjunctive memantine in the treatment of complex trauma disorder and the use of tibolone in the treatment of first-onset or relapse depression in perimenopausal women. As part of her role, Iris oversees participant recruitment and administering neuropsychological assessments.

Megan Ross

 Megan Ross joined MAPrc in May 2017 and is a Research Assistant supervised by Dr. Mareena Kaur in the Therapeutic Brain Stimulation Team. 

Freya Stockman

Ms Freya Stockman BPsycSci, GradDip (Psych)

Ms Freya Stockman is a Study Coordinator and Research Assistant in the Therapeutic Brain Stimulation division of MAPrc. Freya finished a Bachelor degree in Psychological Science in 2016 as well as a Graduate Diploma of Psychology in 2017, both of which were completed at Deakin University. Her graduate research examined the relationship between mirror neuron activity and empathy using transcranial magnetic stimulation, as well as assessing the relevance of intelligence in social inferencing. She then worked as a Research Assistant at Deakin University in the Cognitive Neuroscience Unit (CNU) where she gained relevant experience handling neuro lab equipment. Freya joined MAPrc in 2018 where she coordinates two clinical trials: using theta-burst stimulation for the treatment of fibromyalgia (chronic pain symptoms) and using transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) for the treatment of mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Her weekly tasks include applying brain stimulation, recording brain activity using an electroencephalogram (EEG), booking treatments and liaising with participants. Freya hopes to complete further postgraduate study in her pursuit of a career in clinical psychology.

Caley Sullivan

Caley is a research assistant in the Brain Stimulation team. 

Alisa Turbic

Ms Alisa Turbić - BSc (Hons)

Research Assistant

Alisa is a Research Assistant with Women's Mental Health Division at Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre (MAPrc) running the National Register of Antipsychotic Medication in Pregnancy (NRAMP) project aimed at providing a better understanding of the safety and effect of antipsychotic medication during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Alisa spent majority of her career working as a Senior Research Assistant at the Melbourne Brain Centre at The University of Melbourne where she managed research projects examining the factors that may be exploited to promote repair of the nervous system following brain injury and disease. She transitioned to public health research in 2016 by obtaining a position in the School of Public Health and Preventative Medicine at Monash University and subsequently commenced her positon at MAPrc in May 2018. To date, she has contributed to several research projects, which have led to a number of peer-reviewed publications and presentations at professional conferences, nationally and internationally.

 

 

  Peer-reviewed publications

1.       Dixon, K.J., Turbić, A., Turnley, A.M., and Liebl, D.J. (2017). Explant Methodology for Analyzing Neuroblast                 Migration. Biological Protocols 7(9). pii: e2249.

2.       Basrai, H.S., Turbić, A., Christie, K. J., and Turnley, A.M. (2017). Suppressor of Cytokine Signalling 2 (SOCS2)      Regulates Numbers of Mature Newborn Adult Hippocampal Neurons and Their Dendritic Spine Maturation. Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology 37(5):899-909.

3.      Dixon, K.J., Mier, J., Gajavelli, S., Turbić, A., Turnley, A.M., and Liebl, D.J. (2016). EphrinB3 restricts endogenous neural stem cell migration after traumatic brain injury. Stem Cell Research 17(3):504-513.

4.       Basrai, H.S., Christie, K.J., Turbić, A., Bye, N., and Turnley, A.M. (2016). Suppressor of Cytokine Signaling-2 (SOCS2) Regulates the Microglial Response and Improves Functional Outcome after Traumatic Brain Injury in Mice. PLoS ONE 11(4):e0153418. 

5.      Bye, N, Christie, K.J., Turbić, A., Basrai, H.S., and Turnley, A.M. (2016). Rho kinase inhibition following traumatic brain injury in mice promotes functional improvement and acute neuron survival but has little effect on neurogenesis, glial responses or neuroinflammation. Experimental Neurology 279:86-95.

6.      Dent, K. A., Christie, K. J., Bye, N., Basrai, H. S., Turbić, A., Habgood, M., Cate, H. S., and Turnley, A. M. (2015). Oligodendrocyte birth and death following traumatic brain injury in adult mice. PLoS ONE 10(3):e0121541.

7.      Uren, R.T., Turbić, A., Wong, A.W., Klein, R., Murray, S.S., and Turnley, A.M. (2014). A novel role of suppressor of cytokine signaling-2 in the regulation of TrkA neurotrophin receptor biology. Journal of Neurochemistry 129(4):614-27.

8.     Merson, T.D., Castelletto, S., Aharonovich, I., Turbić, A., Kilpatrick, T.J., and Turnley, A.M. (2013). Nanodiamonds with silicon vacancy defects for nontoxic photostable fluorescent labeling of neural precursor cells. Optics Letters 38(20):4170-3.

9.     Christie, K.J., Turbić, A., and Turnley, A.M. (2013). Adult hippocampal neurogenesis, Rho kinase inhibition and enhancement of neuronal survival. Neuroscience 5;247:75-83.

10.   Turbić, A., Leong, S.Y., and Turnley, A.M. (2011). Chemokines and inflammatory mediators interact to regulate adult murine neural precursor cell proliferation, survival and differentiation. PLoS One 6(9):e25406.

11.   Leong, S.Y., Faux, C.H., Turbić, A., Dixon, K.J., and Turnley, A.M. (2011). The Rho kinase pathway regulates mouse adult neural precursor cell migration. Stem Cells 29(2):332-43.

12.   Pettolino, F., Sasaki, I., Turbić, A., Wilson, S.M., Bacic, A., Hrmova, M., and Fincher, G.B. (2009). Hyphal cell walls from the plant pathogen Rhynchosporium secalis contain (1,3/1,6)-beta-D-glucans, galacto- and rhamnomannans, (1,3;1,4)-beta-D-glucans and chitin. FEBS Journal 276(14):3698-709.

13.  Lum, M., Turbić, A., Mitrovic, B., and Turnley, A.M. (2009). Fibroblast growth factor-9 inhibits astrocyte differentiation of adult mouse neural progenitor cells. Journal of Neuroscience Research 87(10):2201-10.

14.   Turbić, A., Ahokas, J.T., and Haskard, C.A. (2002). Selective in vitro binding of dietary mutagens, individually or in combination, by lactic acid bacteria. Food Additives and Contaminants 19(2):144-52 

Lenore Wambeek

Lenore Wambeek  RPN
Lenore is a member of the Brain Stimulation and Neurosciences team. She currently works on the Brain Stimulation and Neuroimaging Stream at MAPrc and is involved in transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).