Senior Staff

 

Senior Research staff at MAPrc include psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, neuropsychologists, neuroscientists, and clinical researchers. They are a highly dedicated group with postgraduate research qualifications and/or substantial clinical research experience. Senior Research staff contribute to the strategic research direction of MAPrc, and occupy a diverse range of roles across all research streams. Primary responsibilities of MAPrc senior research staff include the coordination and management of research projects (under the guidance of the Executive Team), mentoring and supervising junior researchers and students, teaching, applying for competitive research funding, presenting at research conferences and seminars, and preparing research reports for publication.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Professor Susan Rossell

 

Professor Susan Rossell BSc (Hons), PhD
 
Susan Rossell is a Professorial Research Fellow at MAPrc. She is a cognitive neuropsychologist. Her research has focused on understanding the cognitive and neurobiological processes involved in psychosis and related disorders. She has extensive experience in neuroimaging.
 
Prior to coming to MAPrc, Susan studied at the University of Manchester, the Institute of Psychiatry (part of King’s College London) and Oxford University. She gained experience in neuroimaging whilst undertaking a position at the world renowned Functional Imaging Lab, Queens Square, London, UK. In 2000 she was awarded a prestigious International Wellcome Post-doctoral Fellowship during which she spent part of her time at Macquarie University in Sydney. From 2004 to 2007 she was Head of the Cognitive Neuropsychiatry Department at the Mental Health Research Institute of Victoria, Melbourne. She currently holds a joint appointment with MAPrc and Swinburne University. At Swinburne she is the Principal of the Neuroimaging Facility within the Brain and Psychological Sciences Research Centre.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Professor David Barton

Professor David Barton is a senior researcher at MAPrc and Central Clinical School Monash University and Senior Research Scientist Human Neurotransmitter Laboratory Baker IDI. He is a Consultant Psychiatrist Ballarat Mental Health Services and was previously Program Medical Director Mental Health at Monash Health from April 2012 – April 2014 and Acting Director Clinical Governance at North Western Mental Health, Melbourne Health from September 2008 to March 2012. He is currently leading a Baker IDI research team on Depression and the heart - mechanisms of cardiac risk. 

Associate Professor Kate Hoy

 

Associate Professor Kate Hoy 

Deputy Director, Therapeutic Brain Stimulation
Head, Cognitive Therapeutics Research Program

BBNSc (Hons), DPsych (Clin Neuro)

A/Prof Kate Hoy is an NHMRC Fellow and Clinical Neuropsychologist at MAPrc where she is Deputy Director of Therapeutic Brain Stimulation and Heads the Cognitive Therapeutics Research Program. 

Kate’s research is focused on the development of novel biological treatments for cognitive impairment in both psychiatric and neurological illnesses. Specifically, her group investigates the effects of brain stimulation techniques such as transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS), transcranial Alternating Current Stimulation (tACS), transcranial Random Noise Stimulation (tRNS), Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), Theta-Burst Stimulation (TBS) and Magnetic Seizure Therapy (MST).

She is currently conducting clinical trials aimed at improving cognition in patiens with schizophrenia and Alzheimer's, as well as in healthy older adults. Kate's team is also conducting research looking at cognitive impairment in head injury and mild cognitive impairment, as well as investigating ways in which to optimise efficacy of prefrontal brain stimulation techniques.  

Kate has worked in brain stimulation research for more than 13 years, has published over 70 scientific articles and 2 book chapters, and received over 3.5 million dollars competitive funding. In 2014 she was awarded the NHMRC Excellence Award for the top ranked Career Development Fellowship - Biomedical Level 1, and won the 2017 Victoria Telstra Business Women's : Public sector and Academic Award. 

Kate is currently a member of the Faculty of Medicine Research Committee, a past member of the Monash ECR network, was the inaugral ECR representative on the Monash Research Committee, and is a former Deputy Chair of the Australian Academy of Science EMCR Forum, an advocacy group for early to mid-career researchers. She is also currently a mentor in the Global STEM Alliance 1000 girls, 1000 futures program. Kate also initiated, and maintains, the women in brainstim database site aimed at addressing the extreme gender imbalances at international brain stimulation conferences.  Go to womeninbrainstim.com to find out more and register.

 

Kate is passionate about communicating science to the public, not only her own research, but the importance and impact of science in general. She gives regular talks on her research to a range of audiences, she is active on twitter, has published articles in consumer targeted magazines (i.e. Link Disability Magazine, Australian Quarterly) and on the conversation website, and has been interviewed in the media on a number of occaisions. Kate was awarded a 2013 Victorian Tall Poppy Science Award  in recognition of both her research excellence and commitment to science communication. 
 

For a list of current projects see the Cognitive Therapeutics Research Program current research page.

If you would like to find out more about Kate’s research, please contact kate.hoy@monash.edu 



Watch A/Prof Kate Hoy discuss her work at MAPrc: 

  

 


Cognitive Therapeutics Research Team

 

Research Staff:   Ms Hannah Coyle (Research Assistant)

                                 Ms Kirsten Gainsford (Research Assistant)

                                 Ms Caitlyn Rogers (Research Assistant)

                                 Mr Aron Hill (Research Assistant)

Current Students:  Mr Aron Hill (PhD, Monash University, Main Supervisor)  

                                    Ms Hannah Coyle (DPsych, Monash University, Main Supervisor)

                    Ms Melanie Emonson (DPsych, Monash University, Main Supervisor)  

                    Ms Karyn Richardson (DPsych, Monash University, Co-Main Supervisor)

    Dr Ingrid Butterfield (PhD, Monash University)                         

                                    Mr SungWook Chung (PhD, Monash University) 

                                    Mr Oscar Murphy (DPsych, Monash University)

                                    Ms Kirstyn Windsor (DPsych, Deakin University)      

 

Alumni:                 Dr Neil Bailey (Post-Doctoral Researcher, Former PhD Student)

Ms Sara Arnold (Research Assistant)

                                Dr Christina Furtado (DPsych, Monash University)

                                Dr Sophie Anderson (Hons and DPsych, Monash University)

                                Ms Marie Claire Davis (Masters, Melbourne University)

                                Ms Melaine Emonson (Hons, Monash UniversityMain Supervisor)

                                Ms Florence Teo (Hons, Monash UniversityMain Supervisor)

                                Mr Paul Mulquinney (Hons, Monash UniversityMain Supervisor)

                                Mr Macro Michael (BMedSci, Monash UniversityMain Supervisor)

                                Dr Alex Lowe (Visiting international Medical Student, Homerton University Hospital)

                                Mr Joshua John (Visiting international PhD student, University of South Carolina)

                                Mr Dean Whitty (BMedSci, Monash UniversityMain Supervisor)

                                Ms Laura Blair-West (BMedSci, Monash University)

 Ms Katernia Mei Ruu Lau (Honours, Monash UniversityMain Supervisor)

                                 Mr Nikolay Kozlov (Honours, Monash University, Main Supervisor)

                                 Ms Bridgette Pianta (Honours, Monash University)                                

 

Selected Recent Publications

Hill A, Rogasch NC, Fitzgerald PB, Hoy K.  Effects of Prefrontal Bipolar and High-Definition Transcranial Direct Currents Stimulation on Cortical Reactivity and Working Memory in Healthy Adults. Neuroimage, In Press 2017.

Hoy KE. Gender Imbalance at Brain Stimulation Conferences: We have a problem and it is everyone's problem. [Letter to the Editor]. Brain Stimulation, 10(1) 155-156, 2017.

Hoy KE, Bailey NW, Michael M, Fitzgibbon, B, Rogasch, N, Sakei T, Fitzgerald PB. Enhancement of working memory and task related oscillatory activity following intermittent Theta Burst Stimulation in healthy controls. Cerebral Cortex, 26(12): 4563-4573, 2016.

Hill A, Rogasch NC, Fitzgerald PB, Hoy K. TMS-EEG a window into the neurophysiological effects of transcranial electrical stimulation in non-motor brain regions. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews. 64, 175-184. 2016. 

Hill A, Fitzgerald PB, Hoy KE. Effects of anodal transcranial direct current stimulation on working and recognition memory: a systematic review and meta-analysis of findings from healthy and neuropsychiatric population. Brain Stimulation 9(2):197-208. 2016.

Hoy KE, Fitzgerald PB. From bench to clinic to community: The far reaching implications of basic research. [Letter to the Editor] PNAS. 112(42), 2015

Hoy KE, Bailey NW, Arnold SL, Fitzgerald PB. The effect of tDCS on gamma activity and working memory in schizophrenia. Psychiatry Research. 228(2), 191-196, 2015  

Hoy KE, Bailey NW, Arnold SL, John J, Daskalakis ZJ, Fitzgerald PB. The effect of γ-tACS on working memory performance in healthy controls. Brain and Cognition. 101; 51-56, 2015 

Hoy KE, Arnold S, Emonson M, Daskalakis ZJ, Fitzgerald PB.  An investigation into effects of tDCS dose on cognitive performance over time in patients with schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Research, 155, 96–100; 2014

Hoy KE, Emonson M, Arnold S, Thomson R, Daskalakis ZJ, Fitzgerald PB.  Testing the Limits: Investigating the effect of tDCS dose on working memory enhancement in healthy controls. Neuropsychologia, 51; 1777-1784, 2013.

Hoy KE, Fitzgerald PB. Brain stimulation in psychiatry and its effects on cognition.  Nature Reviews Neurology. 6, 267–275, 2010.

Hoy KE, Thomson RH, Cherk M, Yap KSK, Daskalakis ZJ, Fitzgerald PB. Effect of magnetic seizure therapy on regional brain glucose metabolism in major depression. Psychiatry Research Neuroimaging, 211(2); 169-175, 2013.

Hoy KE, Segrave RA, Daskalakis ZJ, Fitzgerald PB. Investigating the relationship between cognitive change and antidepressant response following rTMS: A large scale retrospective study. Brain Stimulation 5(4): 539-4, 2012.

Hoy KE, Fitzgerald PB. Magnetic Seizure Therapy for Treatment Resistant Depression. Expert Review of Medical Devices. 8(6):723-32., 2011

Hoy KE, Enticott PG, Daskalakis Z, Fitzgerald PB. Can a behavioural intervention enhance the effect of rTMS on mood? Brain Stimulation. 4; 84-89, 2011

Hoy KE, Fitzgerald PB. Introducing Magnetic Seizure Therapy: A novel therapy for treatment resistant depression.  Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry. 44; 591-598, 2010.

 

 

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Associate Professor Neil Thomas

Associate Professor Neil Thomas
Clinical Director, Voices Clinic
BSc (Hons), DClinPsych, CPsychol, AFBPsS, MAPS, MCCLP
 

A/Prof Neil Thomas is a researcher from Swinburne University of Technology, and Honorary Consultant Clinical Psychologist with Alfred Health. Neil has run the Voices Clinic at MAPrc since 2008, which provides assessment, self-management programs and psychological therapy for people with persisting hallucinatory experiences such as hearing voices.

 
The main focus of Neil's research is in developing new therapeutic approaches to empower people who live with mental health problems to self-manage symptoms and have the best recovery possible. This includes traditional psychotherapeutic methods, such as cognitive behavioural therapy; mindfulness-based interventions; peer support; online programs; and mobile apps.
 
Neil’s lab, PERISCOPE, works across the Swinburne and MAPrc campuses. Through the Voices Clinic, Neil runs the Targeted Research and Intervention for Understanding and Managing Persisting Hallucinations (TRIUMPH) research program. This is aiming to better understand methods for helping people with persisting hallucinations manage this experience. He also works with the Cognitive Neuropsychiatry team at MAPrc to understand the phenomenology of hallucinations and mechanisms involved.
 
Neil also runs the Self-Management and Recovery Technology (SMART) research program with the Alfred and other services, which is examining the role of digital tools in promoting recovery as part of mental health delivery. At Swinburne, Neil is also Director of the National eTherapy Centre and eTherapy Research Unit, which provides and researches digital self-management interventions for a range of mental health problems.
 
Click here for information on the Voices Clinic
Click here to view publications

Adjunct Professor Brian Lithgow

Adjunct Professor Brian Lithgow BSc BE MEngSc SMIEEE

Brian Lithgow has been interested in vestibular and auditory electroneurophysiology, signal processing, and the development of diagnostics throughout his career. More recently, he has done work in development of:
  • Signal processing algorithms for vestibular diagnostics (Meniere’s Disease, BPPV).
  • Signal processing algorithms for auditory prosthesis.
  • Models for vestibular dynamic responses of the semicircular canals and otolithic organs.
  • Models for electrical and audio stimulation of the cochlea consequent to high pulse rate electrical stimulation of the cochlea and modiolar stimulation.
  • Improved understanding of auditory and vestibular electroneurophysiology.
  • Speech Processing and speaker identification - improvements to and development of algorithms using optimization techniques and wavelet techniques. One patent has been generated.
  • And most recently diagnostic development for neurological and neurodegenerative disorders Parkinson’s Disease, Schizophrenia, Meniere’s and Depression. Two patents have been generated.
  • This work is being extended into separating unipolar and bipolar depression, separating Autism, Asperger’s and ADHD, separating Meniere’s Disease, peripheral vertigo and Central vertigo, and finally separating schizo-effective disorder and schizophrenia.
  • This application is to extended current research into separating Lewy Body Dementia, Parkinson’s Disease Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease.  
Along the way he was a founder of the Monash University Centre for Biomedical Engineering (MUCBE) and is currently the Director of Teaching for MUCBE, Leader of the Diagnostic and Neurosignal Processing Research Group at Monash University and a Senior Research Fellow at the Alfred Psychiatric Research Centre where he has a second new fully equipped research laboratory 'The Diagnostic and Neurosignal Processing Research Laboratory'. He is also a visiting Researcher with the University of  Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada.
 
Previous industry/academic/research positions include:
1.      Chief Electronic Design Engineer at Hudson-Allen Ltd. - DSP encryption
2.      Deputy Head and acting Director of Biomedical Engineering at the Alfred Hospital.
3.      Lecturer (Biophysics) Swinburne University
4.      Weapons Electronic Engineering Officer-Royal Australian Navy
Over the past three years his neurodiagnostic research has attracted two ARC linkage grants (>$350,000), one NHMRC grant ($116,000), five funded scholarships, Monash University commercialisation funding exceeding $100,000, industry cash funding exceeding $220,000 and one ARC small grant ($12,000). A Government Comet grant for commercialising this research has been recently awarded for $76,000. Three international and one PCT Patents have been generated/applied for and a company formed to commercialise the neurodiagnostics research namely Neural Diagnostics Pty Ltd.
 
PUBLICATIONS (last three years):- 2 Patents, 9 Refereed Journal papers, 1 Refereed Journal abstract, 10 refereed conference papers, 1 Refereed Conference abstract.

Dr Stuart Lee

 
Having completed a Doctorate in Clinical Neuropsychology with Monash University and worked at the Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre since 2006, I am interested in the cognitive and other psychological consequences of psychiatric, neurological and oncology disorders and novel ways to treat them. All too often treatment for these disorders focuses on the medical options, with the psychological distress or thinking and memory difficulties that have a profound effect on quality of life often missed.

As a clinical research centre, working at MAP-RC has enabled me to work closely with staff in the Adult Psychiatry and Oncology Services of The Alfred hospital. This has provided the opportunity to complete a range of projects looking to improve the way care is delivered in these services. These include implementing routine distress screening on the inpatient oncology ward, evaluating the impact of an interagency initiative to improve mental health care for people living homeless, introducing sensory assessment and therapy to reduce seclusion use in inpatient psychiatry, and the benefit of creative therapies in acute psychiatry.

 
Research Interests
Psychiatric Service Evaluation
Cognition in Psychiatry
Cognitive and Psychological Impact of Cancer
Women’s Mental Health
 
Teaching
Lecturing in MBBS 4071
Lab tutor for Research Design and Analysis PSY3062
Lab tutor for PSY2051

 

 

 

 

 

Dr Caroline Gurvich

 Dr Caroline Gurvich BA/BSc (hons), DPsych (ClinNeuro), MAPS

 
Caroline is a Senior Research Fellow and a clinical neuropsychologist at MAPrc.
Caroline is the research leader for the Women’s Mental Health division at MAPrc and leads the "Cognition, hormones and genes" research unit within the Women’s Mental Health division. Caroline’s research explores the interplay between biological factors (such as genetic effects and hormones) and lifestyle factors (such as trauma and stress) on cognition in mental illness.   Caroline has also recently established a clinical neuropsychology service that runs through MAPrc.


Key areas of interest
 
Eye movements in psychiatry
Sex hormones and cognition
Stress hormones, trauma and cognition
Dopaminergic genes and cognition 
Cognition across the psychosis continuum: schizotypy to schizophrenia
 
If you would like to find out more about Caroline’s research, please contact her: caroline.gurvich@monash.edu
 
 
Selected Papers
 
Myles, J., Rossell, S., Phillipou, Thomas, E., Gurvich, C. Insights to the schizophrenia continuum: A systematic review of saccadic eye movements in schizotypy and biological relatives of schizophrenia patients. Neuroscience and Biobehavioural Reviews, 72, 278-300. 
Gurvich, C; Bozaoglu, K; Neill, E; Van Rheenen, T; Tan, E; Louise, S & Rossell, S. (2015)The dopamine D1 receptor gene is associated with negative schizotypy in a non-clinical sample Psychiatry Research, 235, 213-214.
Gurvich, C., & Rossell., S (2015) Editorial: Cognition across the psychiatric disorder spectrum: From mental health to clinical diagnosis Frontiers in Psychiatry 6(AUG), 110. 
Carruthers S, Gurvich C, Rossell, S. (2015) The muscarinic system, cognition and schizophrenia. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 55:393-402. 
Louise, S., Gurvich, C., Neill, E., Tan, E., Van Rheenen, T., & Rossell, S. (2015) Schizotypal traits are associated with impairments in executive functioning and working memory in healthy adults, Frontiers in Psychiatry, 6(JUN) 79. 
Gurvich, C., & Rossell, S. L. (2015). Dopamine and cognitive control: Sex-by-genotype interactions influence the capacity to switch attention. Behav Brain Res, 281C, 96-101. 
Gurvich, C. T., & Rossell, S. L. (2014). Genetic variations in dopamine and inhibitory control: Lack of influence on action restraint. Behav Brain Res, 267C, 12-16. 
Neill, E., Gurvich, C., & Rossell, S. L. (2014). Category fluency in schizophrenia research: is it an executive or semantic measure? Cogn Neuropsychiatry, 19(1), 81-95. 
Warren, A., Gurvich, C., Worsley, R., & Kulkarni, J. (2014). A systematic review of the impact of oral contraceptives on cognition. Contraception, 90(2), 111-116. 
Gurvich, C., Maller, J. J., Lithgow, B., Haghgooie, S., & Kulkarni, J. (2013). Vestibular insights into cognition and psychiatry. Brain Res, 1537, 244-259. 
Kulkarni, J., Gurvich, C.,. . . Davis, S. R. (2010). Piloting the effective therapeutic dose of adjunctive selective estrogen receptor modulator treatment in postmenopausal women with schizophrenia. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 35(8), 1142-1147. 
Gurvich, C. T., Fitzgerald, P. B., Georgiou-Karistianis, N., & White, O. B. (2008). Saccadic impairment in schizophrenia with prominent negative symptoms. Neuroreport, 19(14), 1435-1439. 
Winograd-Gurvich, C., Fitzgerald, P. B., Georgiou-Karistianis, N., Millist, L., & White, O. (2008). Inhibitory control and spatial working memory: a saccadic eye movement study of negative symptoms in schizophrenia. Psychiatry Res, 157(1-3), 9-19. 
Gurvich, C., Georgiou-Karistianis, N., Fitzgerald, P. B., Millist, L., & White, O. B. (2007). Inhibitory control and spatial working memory in Parkinson's disease. Mov Disord, 22(10), 1444-1450. 
Winograd-Gurvich, C., Fitzgerald, P. B., Georgiou-Karistianis, N., Bradshaw, J. L., & White, O. B. (2006). Negative symptoms: A review of schizophrenia, melancholic depression and Parkinson's disease. Brain Res Bull, 70(4-6), 312-321. 
Winograd-Gurvich, C., et al (2006). Ocular motor differences between melancholic and non-melancholic depression. J Affect Disord, 93(1-3), 193-203. 
Winograd-Gurvich, C., et al (2006). Self-paced and reprogrammed saccades: differences between melancholic and non-melancholic depression. Neurosci Res, 56(3), 253-260. 
Winograd-Gurvich, C., et al., (2006). Self-paced saccades and saccades to oddball targets in Parkinson's disease. Brain Res, 1106(1), 134-141.
 
 
Student Supervision and Research Team members
 
Current Student Supervision
Elizabeth Thomas (Monash University, PhD)
Jacqueline Riddiford, (Monash University, PhD)
Heather Gilbert (Monash University, PhD)
Sean Carruthers (Swinburne University, PhD)
Joshua Kontrobarksy BMedSci (Hons)
Jacinta Cheng BMedSci (Hons)
 
Research Assistant
Ms Jessica Myles (Current)
Ms Stephanie Louise (Past)
 
Completed Student Supervision
Sacha Filia (Monash University, PhD 2016)
Phillip Law (Monash University, PhD 2017)
Mehrnaz Shoushstarian (Monash University, PhD  2008).
Kay McCauley (Monash University, PhD 2009)
Annabelle Warren BMedSci (Hons) 2014
Elizabeth Thomas BBioMedSci (Hons) 2014
Jessica Myles Psychology (Hons) 2014
Stephanie Louise Psychology (Hons) 2013
Peter Donaldson Psychology (Hons) 2013
Jacqueline Riddiford Psychology (Hons) 2012
Abhasiri Chutikul Psychology (Hons) 2010
Clare Stevenson BBehNeuroscience (Hons) 2010
 

Ms Emmy Gavrilidis

 
 
Emmy Gavrilidis  

BAppSci (Psychology)– Women’s Mental Health Division Research Manager

Emmy Gavrilidis is the Women's Mental Health Division Research Manager at MAPrc, a position she has held since April 2017.  Prior to this  Ms Gavrilidis was the Women’s Mental Health Division Coordinator (2011-2017) and Research Assistant (2007-2011).  She has extensive research experience and is involved in many aspects of research including project development, grant applications, setup of new studies including ethics, honours student project supervision, conference management , budgeting and finance aspects of research. She is responsible for supporting strategic and operational  processes with the goal to ensure growth and success of the division in research, teaching, learning and engagement. She provides project management, financial, human resources and general infrastructure oversight. 

 

 
 

 

Dr Caroline Thew

Dr Thew is the endocrinologist at the Women's Mental Health Clinic (WMHC) and has over 20 years experience working as a clinical endocrinologist in private practice and attached to Royal Melbourne Hospital. Her PhD research topic was Studies of Insulin Resistance in Human Adiopocytes and she maintains a particular  interest in Type 11 diabetes and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. She has developed a weight loss and exercise program with the motivational psychologist at the WMHC, Cindy Yu. This is particularly helpful for patients who may have experienced weight gain as a side effect of their psychiatric medication. Dr Thew has experience in perimenopausal hormone management and this is an expanding area of clinical and research interest. She has been involved in the development of the online short course in Women's Mental Health.


 

Dr Carolyn Breadon

 Dr Carolyn Breadon joined the Women's Mental Health Team in June 2017 as a Consultant Psychiatrist.

Dr Natalie Thomas

 
Dr Natalie Thomas  Bsc(Hons) PhD
 

Dr Thomas joined the Women’s Mental Health Team at MAPrc in 2016. She completed a Bachelor of Science with Honours in 2008, majoring in biochemistry and molecular biology. Her interest in mental health on a human level, and perception and decision-making on a philosophical level, saw her commence her doctoral studies in molecular psychiatry within the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Melbourne. She graduated in early 2016, with her doctoral thesis titled “Investigation of potential subgroups within the schizophrenias: A study of cholinergic muscarinic receptor density and energy metabolism”. This work allowed for progress toward clinically useful biomarkers.  

 

Dr Thomas’ interest lies at the intercept of psychology and biology. She aims to further our understanding in psychiatric biological markers, particularly within the area of psychoneuroendocrinology, and treatment response. She asserts the importance of working within a collaborative research centre that considers biological, social, and psychological factors simultaneously, and feels extremely fortunate to be working within a research centre that follows such a practice. Under the supervision of Professor Jayashri Kulkarni, she is currently involved in research programs investigating novel treatments in borderline personality disorder and subgroups of mood disorders.

 

Dr Bernadette Fitzgibbon

 
Dr Bernadette Fitzgibbon is an NHMRC early career research fellow at MAPrc.
 
Bernadette graduated from her PhD in 2012 where she conducted the first clinical and neurophysiological studies of a new pain phenomenon in amputees.
 
Her current research utilises modern neuroscientific techniques including Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Electroencephalography, to explore the neurobiology of pain perception and to develop novel treatment approaches for chronic pain syndromes.
 
She also has a significant interest in social cognition and how pain can be used as a model to explore how we understand the thoughts, feelings and actions of other people.
 
She has received several awards for her research including the 2014 Bethlehem Griffith Foundation Young Researcher Award, a 2014 Tall Poppy Award from the Australian Institute of Policy of Science and the 2012 Vice Chancellor's Commendation for Doctoral Thesis Excellence (Monash University). Her work has been covered in top media outlets including New Scientist magazine, Australasian Science, and The Psychologist. She has also been invited to write online pieces for The Conversation and Body in Mind Blog, and been interviewed on 3RRR and ABC1 television.
 
If you would like to find out more about Bernadette's research, please contact bernadette.fitzgibbon@monash.edu.

 

 

Selected Presentations
  1.  FITZGIBBON, B.M. A pilot investigation of therapeutic brain stimulation treatment for fibromyalgia. Australian Pain Society's 36th Annual Scientific Meeting, (March 2016), Perth, Australia. 
  2. FITZGIBBON B.M. Pain in the brain: the overlap between physical pain, empathy for pain and social pain. Science Stars of Tomorrow, Australian Academy of Science (June, 2015), Canberra, Australia
  3. FITZGIBBON, B.M. Australian Pain Society’s 34th Annual Scientific Meeting, Empathy and pain: from the neuroscience to the clinic, (April 2014), Hobart, Australia.

Selected Papers 
 
  1.  FITZGIBBON, B.M. Hoy, K.E., Guymer, E.K., Littlejohn, G.O., Fitzgerald, P.B. Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation for pain (rTMS): is it too early to standardise rTMS protocols? Pain (Letter to the editor, accepted 17/11/2015).
  2.  FITZGIBBON, B.M., Kirkovski, M., Bailey, N., Thomson, R., Eisenberger, N., Enticott, P. Fitzgerald, P.B. Low-Frequency brain stimulation to the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex increases the negative impact of social exclusion among those high in personal distress. Social Neuroscience (accepted 11/3/2016).
  3. FITZGIBBON, B.M., Guimmarra, M., et al., Tsao, J.W., Gibson, S., Rich, A.N., Georgiou-Karistianis, N. , . .. Enticott, P.G. (in press). Symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder associated with painful and non-painful vicarious reactivity following amputation. Journal of Traumatic Stress.
  4. Enticott. P.G., FITZGIBBON B.M., Kennedy, H., Arnold, S.A., Elliot, D. Peachey, A., Zangen, A. Fitzgerald, P.B. (2014). A double-blind, randomized trial of deep repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) for autism spectrum disorder. Brain Stimulation, 7(2), 206-211.
  5. FITZGIBBON, B.M., Enticott, P.G., Giummarra, M.J., Thomson, R.H., Georgiou-Karistianis, N., Bradshaw, J.L. (2012). Abnormal electrophysiological activity during pain observation in amputees who experience synaesthetic pain. 7, 357-368. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience.
  6. FITZGIBBON, B.M., Enticott, P.G., Rich, A., Giummarra, M.J., Georgiou-Karistianis, N., Tsao, J., Weeks, S. Bradshaw, J.L. (2010). High incidence of 'synaesthesia for pain' in amputees. 48, 3675--3678. Neuropsychologia.
  7. FITZGIBBON, B.M., Giummarra, M.J., Georgiou-Karistianis, N., Enticott, P.G., Bradshaw, J.L. (2010). Shared pain: From empathy to synaesthesia. 34, 500-512. Neuroscience and Biobehavioural Reviews.

For a full list of published peer-reviewed articles, see www.researchgate.net/profile/Bernadette_Fitzgibbon


Student Supervision
Current Student Supervision
2015 – current, Xianwei Che, PhD
2015 - current, Sin-Ki Ng, PhD
2016 - current, Greg Roebuck, MD
 
Completed Student Supervision
2014, Laura Blair-West, BMedSci(Hons)
2014, Marco Michael, BMedSci(Hons)
 
Available PhD Project:
Pain perception in psychiatric and neurological illness
There is an emerging interest in abnormalities in pain perception in people who experience psychiatric and neurological illness. In this PhD project, we are looking for a high-performing PhD student with a background in psychology and/or neuroscience to investigate abberant pain experiences in psychiatric and neurological illness through the use of brain stimulation and electrophysiological methods. It is expected that the successful candidate will be funded through the standard APA scholarship.

Available Honours Project:
To be announced mid 2016
 
 
If you would like to find out more about the above research opportunities, please contact bernadette.fitzgibbon@monash.edu.

 

Dr Neil Bailey

Neil Bailey completed his PhD in neuroscience in August 2012. His thesis used brain imaging techniques to examine changes in brain activity during cognitive processing in major depressive disorder following a traumatic brain injury. Prior to his PhD, he had experience using applied behaviour analysis to provide therapy for children with autism.
His current work is focused on using novel brain imaging techniques to assess responses to brain stimulation, and testing new potiential brain stimulation methods.

Dr Jerome Maller

 

Dr Jerome Maller is a Neuroscientist and Senior Research Fellow in the Brain Stimulation and Neuroimaging Lab at MAPrc. He is currently an NHMRC Industry Career Development Fellow (CDF) with a focus on a specialised MRI technique referred to as Susceptibility Weighted Imaging (SWI) and its clinical relevance in the context of traumatic brain injury (TBI).  He previously completed a Centre for Excellence in Traumatic Brain Injury Research (CETBIR) Acute Care Fellowship focussing on blood-brain barrier permeability, and a Victorian Neurotrauma Initiative Research Fellowship using an MRI technique called Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) to demonstrate that it can be predictive of the development of major depression after experiencing a TBI. His regular activities also involve other brain-related imaging and/or stimulation technologies (e.g. transcranial magnetic stimulation [TMS], electroencephalography [EEG], near infra-red [NIR], thermography [forward looking IR]). Dr Maller is involved in many local and international studies including the Monash University Bionic Eye study, the ANU’s PATH Through Life study, and the French ‘3-cities’ study. Dr Maller has over 80 peer-reviewed journal publications and has been involved in successfully obtaining over $3.5 million in grant funding. He is also an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Australian National University.

Dr Maller has compiled the Handbook of Structural Brain MRI Analysis for those new to neuroimaging. It can be found here.

Selected publications
 
Maller JJ, Thaveenthiran P, Thomson RH, McQueen S, Fitzgerald PB. (2014). Volumetric, cortical thickness and white matter integrity alterations in bipolar disorder Type I and II. Journal of Affective Disorders 168:118-27.

Maller JJ, Thomson RH, Pannek K, Bailey N, Lewis PM, Fitzgerald PB. (2014). Volumetrics relate to the development of depression after traumatic brain injury. Behavioural Brain Research S0166-4328(14):00350-7.

Maller JJ, Thomson RHS, Rosenfeld JV, Anderson R, Daskalakis ZJ, Fitzgerald PB. (2014). Occipital bending in depression. Brain 137(Pt 6):1830-7.

Maller JJ, Reglade-Meslin C. (2014). Longitudinal hippocampal and fornix changes after traumatic brain injury: Observations from traditional structural magnetic resonance imaging. Journal of Neurology and Neurophysiology 5(1):1-8.

Maller JJ, Thomson RHS, Pannek K, Rose SE, Bailey N, Lewis PM, Fitzgerald PB. (2014). The (eigen)value of diffusion tensor imaging to investigate depression after traumatic brain injury. Human Brain Mapping 35(1):227-37.

Gurvich  C*, Maller JJ*, Lithgow B, Haghgooie S, Kulkarni J. (2013). Vestibular insights into cognition and psychiatry. Brain Research 1537:244-59. *Co-first authors.

Maller JJ, Reglade-Meslin C, Thomson RHS, Daigle M, Barr MS, Daskalakis ZJ, Fitzgerald PB. (2013). Hippocampal sulcal cavities in depression and healthy individuals. Journal of Affective Disorders 150(3):785-89.

Fitzgerald PB, Hoy, KE, Herring SE, McQueen S, Peachey AVJ,  Segrave RA, Maller J, Hall P,  Daskalakis ZJ. (2012). A Double Blind Randomized Trial of Unilateral Left and Bilateral Prefrontal Cortex Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in Treatment Resistant Major Depression. Journal of Affective Disorders 139(2):193-8.

Maller JJ, Daskalakis ZJ, Thomson RHS, Daigle M, Barr MS, Fitzgerald PB. (2012; Accepted June 2010). Hippocampal volumetrics in treatment-resistant depression and schizophrenia: The Devil's in de-tail. Hippocampus 22(1):9-16.

Maller JJ, Réglade-Meslin C, Chan P, Daskalakis ZJ, Thomson RH, Anstey KJ, Budge M, Sachdev P, Fitzgerald PB. (2011). Hippocampal sulcal cavities: prevalence, risk factors and relationship to memory impairment. Brain Research 1368:222-30.

Maller JJ, Thomson RH, Lewis PM, Rose SE, Pannek K, Fitzgerald PB. (2010) Traumatic brain injury, major depression, and diffusion tensor imaging: Making connections. Brain Research Reviews 64(1):214-30.
 
Conditions/Disorders Investigated

Major depression disorder                                             

Bipolar disorder

Schizophrenia

Traumatic brain injury (TBI)

And a number of others, such as visual neglect, hydrocephalus, and pre-clinical dementia

Of course, I also research healthy people!

MRI Lab

We acquire and analyze a variety of MRI scans acquired in scanners ranging in magnetic strength (1.5T to 7T), including:

T1-weighted                                                              

T2-weighted/FLAIR

Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI)

Susceptibility Weighted Imaging (SWI)

MRS (MR Spectroscopy)

fMRI (Functional MRI)

TMS-EEG

I have been involved in TMS and EEG research, separately and combined, since 2006. Led by Prof Paul B Fitzgerald, we have produced a plethora of peer-reviewed publications and elucidated a number of significant findings.

We regularly utilise MRI technology to refine our clinical and research TMS and/or EEG techniques. For example, we have published papers directly related to the accuracy of TMS coil placement by utilising magnetic stereotaxic fields.

 

Thermography (Far length or Forward Looking IR)

I have been utilising FL-IR technology for a number of years in the context of psychiatry research. For example, we have found that eye temperature is lower in patients with major depression than in healthy people, a finding we anticipate of publishing shortly. Pic: http://www.health.vic.gov.au/healthvictoria/jul11/rscs_jul11/eye.jpg

The lab has begun to use FL-IR cameras for other purposes, such as visualising vasculature. We use mainly Testo 875-1 (8 to 12 micron) and Agema Thermovision 450 (2 to 5 micron), as well as highly-sensitive near infrared (NIR) cameras (specifically the Watec 902H Supreme).

Electrovestibulography

EVestG (Trade Mark) is a method of recording electrical signals from the vestibular system by inserting a probe in the ear canal. The recordings are taken while the person is being tilted in a chair to stimulate the vestibular system. The developers of this technology have claimed that it is able to accurately diagnose a range of mental and neurological disorders, including schizophrenia, depression, bipolar disorder and Alzheimer’s disease.

 If you are interested in working with Jerome on research studies, please contact him on: Jerome.maller@monash.edu

            

 

                     

We are offering a PhD position at the Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre (MAPrc) in the fields of neuropsychiatry and neurophysiology. The PhD project will encompass a number of domains relating to mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) and the vestibular system. The candidate will be responsible for MRI brain scanning rats in the Monash Biomedical Imaging 9.4Tesla MRI scanner using advanced techniques such as resting state functional MRI and diffusion tensor imaging. The data is then to be analysed in order to establish the pathways between the vestibular system and other brain regions in both healthy and mTBI rats. The successful candidate will also be involved in behavioural assessment of these small animals. The successful candidate will apply for the standard APA scholarship which will then be supplemented by an additional AUD$10,000 per year scholarship from the industry partner.

The benefits to ND from investing in this research is to build clinical/biomedical evidence that EVestG works as it is believed to work when measuring subjects suffering and recovering repeated mTBI.

If you are interested in this opportunity, please contact Dr Jerome Maller at jerome.maller@monash.edu or Associate Professor Ramesh Rajan at Ramesh.Rajan@monash.edu

 

Dr Robin Cash

Dr Robin Cash is a Research Fellow in the Therapeutic Brain Stimulation Team

Dr Manreena Kaur

Dr Manreena Kaur is an  NHMRC Peter Doherty Research Fellow in the Therapeutic Brain Stimulation Team

Dr Steven Miller

Dr Steven Miller is a clinician in occupational and pain medicine and a researcher in clinical neuroscience, visual neuroscience and consciousness science. He heads the Perceptual and Clinical Neuroscience Laboratory at MAPrc, which is engaged in basic science and clinical research. The lab has also recently entered the virtual research environment with its new Binocular Rivalry Online project. 

 

Dr Miller has made, and continues to make, significant contributions to science including: 

- Discovering that the rate of binocular rivalry is slow in bipolar disorder – Published in Proceedings of the Royal Society of London and Psychological Medicine. (With J. Pettigrew)

- Demonstrating that an individual’s binocular rivalry rate is under substantial genetic control – Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA. (With N. Martin, M. Wright and colleagues)

- Performing the first brain stimulation experiments on binocular rivalry – Current Biology; featured on the front cover. (With J. Pettigrew and colleagues)

- Proposing a new neurophysiological model of binocular rivalry and a new pathophysiological model of bipolar disorder – Current Biology and Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. (With J. Pettigrew)

- Developing an online binocular rivalry test for convenient and low-resource testing of large-scale clinical and control samples (thousands to tens of thousands of subjects), aiming to (i) improve genome-wide association studies of clinical disorders, (ii) examine clinical disorder diagnostic discrimination, and (iii) facilitate standardisation of behavioural protocols for binocular rivalry testing. (With QIMR Berghofer and Monash Faculty of IT)

- Driving research on neuromodulation with caloric vestibular stimulation — a simple, safe, affordable and non-invasive brain stimulation technique — to treat various clinical conditions. (With T. Ngo)

- Performing detailed analyses of empirical and conceptual foundations of consciousness science, and proposing new foundations for this nascent discipline. 


Dr Miller has been awarded competitive funding from NHMRC, Victorian Neurotrauma Initiative, Defence Health Foundation, The Brain and Behavior Foundation (USA) and Monash Institute of Medical Engineering. He previously held an NHMRC Medical Post-Graduate Research Scholarship and a Victorian Neurotrauma Initiative Early Career Practitioner Fellowship. He was awarded a prestigious NARSAD Young Investigator Grant from the Brain and Behaviour Foundation (USA). Dr Miller sits on the Clinical Panel of the Victorian Government’s Health and Disability Services Group (Transport Accident Commission and WorkSafe).  


The Perceptual and Clinical Neuroscience Laboratory’s interests include:

 

Binocular Rivalry

- Mechanisms of binocular rivalry, and attentional processing during rivalry

- Binocular rivalry in clinical psychiatric groups, especially bipolar disorder

- Binocular rivalry in genetic and neurological conditions

- Large-scale genetic and clinical studies of binocular rivalry

- Development of a web-based testing platform for large-scale studies of binocular rivalry and standardised binocular rivalry testing


Coming soon – BINOCULAR RIVALRY ONLINE


Brain Stimulation / Neuromodulation

- Non-invasive neuromodulation techniques, particularly caloric vestibular stimulation (CVS) and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)

- Non-invasive neuromodulation of persistent pain

- Non-invasive neuromodulation of mania and depression

- Non-invasive neuromodulation of other psychiatric and neurologic conditions

 

Latest neuromodulation data

 

The Scientific Study of Consciousness

- Binocular rivalry and the scientific study of consciousness

- Foundational issues in the science and philosophy of consciousness

- Interpreting brain stimulation and inhibition experiments in consciousness science

 

Recent books

 

   

 

Current staff:

Dr Phillip Law


Lab Alumni:

Dr Trung Ngo (NHMRC Clinical Post-Doctoral Fellowship)

Dr Bryan Paton (PhD; main supervisor Jakob Hohwy)

Dr Wendy Barsdell (DPsych)

Mr Colin Palmer (Phil Hons; main supervisor Jakob Hohwy)

Ms Jacqui Leonard (Psych Hons)

Contact: Steven.Miller@monash.edu 



Selected Publications:


Miller SM (2016). Vestibular neuromodulation: Stimulating the neural crossroads of psychiatric illness. Bipolar Disorders, 18(6), 539–543.

 

Law PCF, Riddiford JA, Paton BK, Gurvich CT, Ngo TT, Miller SM (2015). No relationship between binocular rivalry rate and eye-movement profiles in healthy individuals: A Bayes factor analysis. Perception 44 (6): 643–661.


Miller SM (2014). Closing in on the constitution of consciousness. Frontiers in Psychology, 5: 1293. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01293


Law PCF, Paton BK, Thomson RH, Liu GB, Miller SM, Ngo TT (2013). Dichoptic viewing methods for binocular rivalry research: Prospects for large-scale clinical and genetic studies. Twin Research and Human Genetics 16 (6): 1033–1078.


Ngo TT, Barsdell WN, Law PCF, Miller SM (2013). Binocular rivalry, brain stimulation and bipolar disorder. In S. M. Miller (Ed.), The constitution of visual consciousness: Lessons from binocular rivalry (pp. 211–252). Advances in Consciousness Research (Vol. 90). Amsterdam, The Netherlands: John Benjamins Publishing Company.     


Miller SM, Ngo TT, van Swinderen B (2012). Attentional switching in humans and flies: Rivalry in large and miniature brains. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 5: 188.


Ngo TT, Mitchell PB, Martin NG, Miller SM (2011). Psychiatric and genetic studies of binocular rivalry: An endophenotype for bipolar disorder? Acta Neuropsychiatrica 23(1): 37–42.


Miller SM, Hansell NK, Ngo TT, Liu GB, Pettigrew JD, Martin NG, Wright MJ (2010). Genetic contribution to individual variation in binocular rivalry rate. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 107 (6): 2664–2668.    


Been G, Ngo TT, Miller SM, Fitzgerald PB (2007). The use tDCS and CVS as methods of non-invasive brain stimulation. Brain Research Reviews 56 (2): 346–361.


Miller SM, Ngo TT (2007). Studies of caloric vestibular stimulation: Implications for the cognitive neurosciences, the clinical neurosciences and neurophilosophy. Acta Neuropsychiatrica 19 (3): 183–203. 


Miller SM (2007). On the correlation/constitution distinction problem (and other hard problems) in the scientific study of consciousness. Acta Neuropsychiatrica, 19 (3): 159–176.


Miller SM, Gynther BD, Heslop KR, Liu GB, Mitchell PB, Ngo TT, Pettigrew JD, Geffen LB (2003). Slow binocular rivalry in bipolar disorder. Psychological Medicine 33 (4): 683–692.


Miller SM, Liu GB, Ngo TT, Hooper G, Riek S, Carson RG, Pettigrew JD (2000). Interhemispheric switching mediates perceptual rivalry. Current Biology 10 (7): 383–392.


Pettigrew JD, Miller SM (1998). A ‘sticky’ interhemispheric switch in bipolar disorder? Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B (Biological Sciences), 265 (1411): 2141–2148.

 

Full publication list available at: ResearchGate