Blog: The Brain Dialogues

3 Aug 2020

Dr Anne Poljak | Meet Our Researcher Series

For Dr Anne Poljak, finding the mechanisms underlying cognitive decline and neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia and identifying disease biomarkers are fundamental not only for a better understanding of how the brain works in health and disease, but also for treatment and management of diseases and disorders which affect memory. Understanding disease mechanisms is an essential piece of the puzzle to determine causes of cognitive decline and discover new treatment approaches.   How did you get into researching the ageing brain? When I finished my undergraduate studies, I had an… Read More
3 Aug 2020

Dr Anbu Thalamuthu | Meet Our Researcher Series

CHeBA’s Genetics & Epigenomics Group is primarily concerned with identifying factors defining healthy cognitive function, as well as physical and mental wellbeing. Dr Thalamuthu, one of CHeBA’s senior Research Fellows, is providing critical analysis of age-related phenotypes to achieve this goal, bringing us one step closer to improving quality of life across the lifespan.    How did you get into researching the ageing brain? I obtained my PhD in Statistics from the University of Madras, Chennai in Tamil Nadu, South India. Being a statistician, I had the opportunity to work in several… Read More
3 Aug 2020

Heidi Foo | Meet Our Researcher Series

A PhD Candidate at CHeBA, Heidi Foo has taken a holistic approach to investigating determinants of healthy brain ageing by investigating the effect of genetic and environmental factors impacting cognitive health. Through her research she hopes to help shape more effective treatment interventions for people with dementia.   How did you get into researching the ageing brain? My first job as a graduate was in a tertiary hospital as a research assistant where I was responsible for administering neuropsychological assessments to patients who had dementia as well as Parkinson’s disease. In… Read More
20 Jul 2020

Dr Adith Mohan | Meet Our Researcher Series

Dr Adith Mohan’s transition from clinician to clinician-researcher stems from his interest in applying the principles of neuroscience to his clinical practice as a neuropsychiatrist. He is currently investigating gene expression across the lifespan to try to add to our knowledge of the risk factors for developing age-related brain diseases. He believes that uncovering age-related brain vulnerability is critical to understanding and preventing degenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.   How did you get into researching the ageing brain? I completed my medical training in 2002… Read More
20 Jul 2020

Dr Catherine Browning | Meet Our Researcher Series

One of the most dynamic functions of Dr Browning’s role as Study Coordinator of the Sydney Centenarian Study is meeting with a diverse array of individuals, with undeniably more life experience than most. The study’s dataset is one of CHeBA’s richest sources of information regarding successful cognitive ageing.   How did you first get into researching the ageing brain? It certainly wasn’t a direct path! Instead of following my passion for science when I left high school, I studied commerce part-time at UNSW and worked as an undergraduate cadet at one of the big accounting firms – done as… Read More
20 Jul 2020

Associate Professor Wei Wen | Meet Our Researcher Series

The field of healthy brain ageing is broad and across researchers there is the common goal of ground-breaking outcomes to change the landscape of cognitive decline research and practice. Leader of CHeBA’s Neuroimaging Group, Associate Professor Wei Wen, highlights the importance of incremental research contributions, which play a fundamental role in shaping the foundation for more radical findings.   How did you first get into researching the ageing brain? I was a PhD student doing engineering at the University of Sydney. My degree directly involved research which was ultimately how I… Read More
20 Jul 2020

Josie Bigland | Meet Our Researcher Series

Josie Bigland is working toward becoming a Clinical Psychologist, with a personal goal of giving back to the community; specifically, families enduring hardship when it comes to managing the health of a loved one affected by dementia. Her experience with quality control of data across CHeBA’s longitudinal studies has revealed to her the importance of exercising throughout the lifespan to maintain cognitive health.   How did you first get into researching the ageing brain? As a self-supporting student, I was looking for a research assistant position to get me through university whilst… Read More
14 Jul 2020

Diagnosing Dementia

Dr Meredith Gresham Study CoordinatorMany people currently living with dementia never receive a formal diagnosis. Although exact figures for Australia are unknown, it is estimated that between 44 and 70% of people with dementia in the UK and Canada – countries with similar health care systems to ours – remain undiagnosed. According to Alzheimer’s Disease International this ‘treatment gap’ is even greater in low and middle income countries; one study in India suggested 90% of people remain undiagnosed.  The fear of dementia sometimes discourages people from seeking a diagnosis. Sometimes, the… Read More
30 Jun 2020

Dr Rebecca Koncz | Meet Our Researcher Series

Dr Rebecca Koncz’s research explores the pathophysiological mechanisms of Alzheimer’s disease, particularly amyloid accumulation, as a hallmark feature of the disease. Utilising data collected from CHeBA’s Older Australian Twins Study, she is attempting to answer the classic “nature vs nurture” question – specifically, what proportion of amyloid burden is attributable to genes, and what proportion is determined by environmental, or modifiable, risk factors.   How did you get into researching the ageing brain? I’ve always had an interest in the brain sciences, having completed a major in… Read More
30 Jun 2020

Julia Riches | Meet Our Researcher Series

The participants of CHeBA’s Sydney Centenarian Study have quite literally a century’s worth of knowledge and possibly the most diversified life experience of us all. Experiencing the impacts of World Wars, countless technological innovations and the unusual circumstances of a global pandemic. Their invaluable insights confirmed to Julia Riches that CHeBA was the place to be.   How did you get into researching the ageing brain? I completed my undergraduate studies at the University of Queensland and started working as a Research Assistant there, coincidently, on CHeBA’s Social Cognition… Read More