Neurodiscovery – Genes, cells & networks

Understanding the mechanisms of brain ageing and associated neurological disorders to inform development of new preventative interventions, treatments and novel therapy delivery systems.


The quality of life for a large proportion of older people in New Zealand is greatly impaired by ageing-related disorders that affect three broad domains of nervous system function: Cognition, Sensation and Movement (Fig. 3). 

The over-arching goal of this theme is to generate new knowledge at the level of fundamental biomedical science that can be applied to each of the three domains, in order to support the development of new therapies. Research in this theme will increase our understanding of mechanisms regulating normal neural cell function and survival, of interconnectivity of neurons in neural circuits and the consequences of altered activity in these neural circuits during brain ageing and associated neurological disorders.


Leadership Group:

  • Prof Brian Hyland 
  • Prof Ian McLennan
  • Prof Louise Nicholson
  • Prof Mike Dragunow

Clinical Leaders and Researchers: Prof Wickliffe Abraham, Prof Tim Anderson, Prof Alan Barber, Assoc Prof Nigel Birch, Prof Margaret Brimble, Prof Winston Byblow, Assoc Prof David Christie, Dr Andrew Clarkson, Assoc Prof Bronwen Connor, Dr Maurice Curtis, Prof Dirk De Ridder, Prof Mike Dragunow, Assoc Prof Ruth Empson, Prof Richard Faull, Dr Jian Guan, Dr Stephanie Hughes, Prof Brian Hyland, Assoc Prof Steve Kerr, Prof Ian Kirk, Prof Janusz Lipski, Dr Ping Liu, Prof Ian McLennan, Prof Louise Nicholson, Dr Louise Parr-Brownlie, Assoc Prof John Reynolds, Dr Jon Shemmell, Prof Paul Smith, Dr Cathy Stinear, Prof Warren Tate, Prof Peter Thorne, Prof Ian Tucker, Dr Srdjan Vlajkovic, Dr Henry Waldvogel, Dr Joanna Williams, Assoc Prof Deborah Young, Dr Yiwen Zheng.