Neuroscience is the scientific study of the nervous system.

Neuroscience research at WMR explores a range of neurological diseases and disorders of the brain, spinal cord, and nerves in other parts of the body (peripheral nerves, which include motor and sensory nerves).  Many of these diseases and disorders currently have no cure or effective treatment.

WMR aims to find better treatments, ways for earlier diagnosis and improve clinical outcomes and quality of life of patients with these devastating diseases through supporting and collaborating with clinicians at UnitingCare Health hospitals and academic researchers across several sub-specialties.

Research Manager: Dr Kelley Foster

A current focus in this research theme is Neurodegenerative disease, which leads to debilitation and progressive degeneration of nerve cells in the brain and includes a number of conditions including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s Disease, Motor Neurone diseases, and Huntington’s Disease.

WMR Neuroscience researchers conduct investigations into:

  • Peripheral Nervous System and Motor Unit Disorders (Motor Neurone Disease or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis),
  • Delirium and Dementia, including Alzheimer’s Disease and other forms of Dementia,
  • Movement and cerebellar disorders (including Parkinson’s Disease, Huntington’s Disease, Friedreich’s Ataxia, Tourette Syndrome)
  • Headache
  • Seizure Disorders
  • Demyelinating Disorders (including Multiple Sclerosis)
  • Stroke (Cerebrovascular Accident)
  • Mental disorders (Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder)


To read about research into paediatric-specific neurological disorders, such as autism spectrum disorder, please see Women’s & Children’s Health

For research investigating cancer in the head, neck and spine, please visit Cancer


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Latest News

Outcomes from the latest support round for clinical neurology research announced!

WMR is proud to announce provision of research assistance and funding from the Brazil Family Foundation for the following projects and recipients:

  • The effect of UV light therapy on stroke outcome [Chief Investigator: Prof Pamela McCombe]
  • Detection of neurodegenerative disease by positron emission tomography with the tau ligand [18F] TFK-5351 [Chief Investigator: Prof Paul Cumming]
  • A physiotherapy exercise program with a self-management approach to improve physical activity in people with mild-moderate Parkinson’s disease: A RCT [Chief Investigator: Prof Sandra Brauer]
  • Assessment of metabolic health in neurodegeneration: studies in motor neuron disease [Chief Investigator Dr Shyuan Ngo]
  • Using N-of-1 trials to identify responders to melatonin for sleep disturbance in Parkinson’s disease [Chief Investigator: Dr Jane Nikles]
  • Sleep and circadian patterns in Motor Neuron Disease (MND) and Parkinson’s Disease (PD) [Chief Investigator: A/Prof John O’Sullivan]


Current Research Projects

  • Sleep in Huntington’s Disease and Friedreich’s Ataxia [Chief Investigator Dr Susanna Mantovani]
  • Can a new intensive model of aphasia rehabilitation achieve better outcomes than usual care? [NHMRC Partnership Project between WMR and Chief Investigator Prof Linda Worrall at University of Queensland]
  • Singing in the school of Hard Knocks Choir: a 12 month longitudinal investigation of how choir singing helps adults recover from mental illness and addiction [Chief Investigator: Dr Christian Rowan and Dr Genevieve Dingle]
  • A long-term follow-up study for Multiple Sclerosis patients who have completed the alemtuzumab Extension Study (CAMMS03409) (Lemtrada TOPAZ) [Chief Investigator: Prof Pamela McCombe]
  • A Phase 2B Randomised, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial of the Efficacy and Safety of MIS416 in the Treatment of Subjects with Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (SPMS) [Chief Investigator: Prof Pamela McCombe]
  • A Prospective, Multicenter, Observational Post-Authorization Safety Study To Evaluate The Long Term Safety Profile Of Lemtrada ® (Alemtuzumab) Treatment In Patients With Relapsing Forms Of Multiple Sclerosis (Lemtrada PASS) [Chief Investigator: Prof Pamela McCombe]
  • Phase IIb Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Dose Ranging Trial of Vitamin D3 in Patients with a First Demyelinating Event (PrevANZ) [Chief Investigator: Prof Pamela McCombe]
  • A Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Phase II Study of BNC210 in Adults with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) [Chief Investigator: Dr Phil Mosley]
  • A Multicenter, Open-Label, Extension Study to Evaluate the Long-Term Safety and Efficacy of BIIB019, Daclizumab High Yield Process (DAC HYP), Monotherapy in Subjects With Multiple Sclerosis Who Have Completed Study 205MS301 (Decide Extend) [Chief Investigator: Dr Noel Saines]
  • Plegridy™ (peginterferon β-1a) Real World Effectiveness and Safety Observational Program (POP) [Chief Investigator: Dr Noel Saines]
  • A Multicentre, Open label, Single arm, Non-interventional Phase 4 Study to Evaluate Treatment Satisfaction and Quality of Life Measures in Patients with Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis (RRMS) upon Switching to a Low Frequency Injectable Therapy (PLEGRIDY® peginterferon beta- 1a) (SWITCH) [Chief Investigator: Dr Noel Saines]
  • A Multicenter, Global, Observational Study to Collect Information on Safety and to Document the Drug Utilization of Tecfidera™ (Dimethyl Fumarate) When Used in Routine Medical Practice in the Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis (ESTEEM) [Chief Investigator: Dr Noel Saines]
  • An observational national study to evaluate treatment satisfaction in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis treated with AUBAGIO™ (teriflunomide) in routine clinical practice in Australia [Chief Investigator: Dr Noel Saines]


Our Researchers

– Prof Sandra Brauer

– Prof Paul Cumming

– Dr Genevieve Dingle

Dr Susanna Mantovani

– Prof Pamela McCombe

– Dr Phil Mosley

– Dr Shyuan Ngo

– Dr Jane Nikles

– A/Prof John O’Sullivan

– Dr Christian Rowan

– Dr Noel Saines


Research Supporters

Brazil Family Foundation        |        The Thorsen Foundation        |        The White Foundation