Centre for Brain Research

Scientific Advisory Board

Working together to improve lives

This group of international experts ensure that the activities of our Centre remain focused on our research goals, so that all appropriate opportunities and challenges developing from the Centre's activities are fully realised. 


Professor Chris Shaw

Professor of Neurology and Neurogenetics at the Department of Basic and Clinical Neuroscience at King's College London

Christopher Shaw is Professor of Neurology and Neurogenetics, Head of the Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Director of the Medical Research Council Centre for Neurodegeneration Research and Director of the Wohl Clinical Neuroscience Institute at the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London.


He is an Honorary Consultant Neurologist at King's College Hospital where he directs a clinic for patients with motor neuron disease (MND, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). His early training in General Medicine and Neurology was conducted in New Zealand. He came to the UK in 1992 on a Wellcome Trust New Zealand Health Research Council Fellowship.


While studying Neurobiology in Cambridge he met two families with an inherited form of MND. This sparked a life-long interest in assisting people with MND in the Clinic and seeking a better understanding of the disease in the laboratory. He moved to the Institute of Psychiatry in 1995 and established a laboratory focussed on hunting down MND-causing gene defects. He has used these to explore disease mechanisms using a variety of cellular and animal models to advance drug discovery.


View Professor Chris Shaw's full bio and research page at King's College here

Professor Stephen Davis

Director of the Melbourne Brain Centre

Professor Davis is the Director of the MBC-RM. He is the inaugural Professor of Translational Neuroscience at the University of Melbourne. At RMH, he is Director of Neurosciences and Continuing Care at RMH and Director of Neurology.


He is the immediate past-President of the Australian and New Zealand Association of Neurologists (ANZAN) and a past-President of the Stroke Society of Australasia. He was the first Co-chair of the Australasian Stroke Trials network and Co-Chair of the World Stroke Academy.


In 2012, he was appointed President of the World Stroke Organization. He is the Co-Chair, with Professor Geoffrey Donnan, of Neuroscience Trials Australia (NTA) and has been a trustee of The Royal Melbourne Hospital Neuroscience Foundation since its formation in 1992.


He is a Consulting Editor for Stroke and Associate Editor for Cerebrovascular Diseases. His major research interests involve clinical trials in stroke and the use of neuroimaging, particularly multimodal MRI, in the selection of acute stroke treatments.


View Professor Stephen Davis full bio and research page at the Melbourne Brain Centre here.

Professor Anne Young

Distinguished Julieanne Dorn Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School


Dr Anne Young established the MassGeneral Institute for Neurodegenerative Disease (MIND). MIND brings together scientists at Mass General concentrating on studies of Alzheimer's, PD, HD and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Dr Young spearheaded the comprehensive drug discovery efforts at the MIND and has been successful in identifying drug targets for PD, HD and other neurodegenerative diseases.


Dr Young is the former Chief of Neurology Service at Massachusetts General Hospital. She received an MD and a PhD in Pharmacology from Johns Hopkins, and then completed residency training in neurology at the University of California, San Francisco. After 13 years on the neurology faculty at the University of Michigan, she was recruited to Mass General as its first female chief at the hospital.


Dr Young holds membership in the Institute of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She is also the only person (male or female) to have been president of both the international Society for Neuroscience and the American Neurological Association.


View Professor Anne Young's full bio and research page at Harvard University here.

Professor Cliff Abraham

Professor of Psychology at Otago University

Professor Cliff Abraham has played a leading role in promoting neuroscience research and teaching at the university. In 1997, he was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand, and in 2007 he was awarded a Royal Society of New Zealand James Cook Fellowship.


He chaired the Australasian Winter Conference on Brain Research, New Zealand’s annual neuroscience meeting for 12 years. He is the Otago-based Co-Director of Brain Research New Zealand, a national centre for research excellence.

Professor Abraham is interested in the neural mechanisms of memory and the rules and mechanisms governing synaptic plasticity and memory formation in the brain. His particular focus is on the cellular and molecular events in the hippocampus, a brain structure important for certain kinds of learning and memory.


His lab has expertise in electrophysiological, behavioural and immunofluorescent microscopy approaches to studying the mechanisms mediating the induction and persistence of synaptic plasticity in vivo and in vitro, and their relevance to memory.


View Professor Cliff Abraham's full bio and research page at the University of Otago here

Professor Perry Bartlett Professor of Molecular Neuroscience at the Queensland Brain Institute, University of Queensland

Professor Perry Bartlett, FAA is internationally renowned in the field of cellular and molecular neuroscience, as highlighted by his election as a Fellow of the Australian Academy and awarding of an Australian Research Council Federation Fellowship in 2003.


Professor Bartlett was appointed Foundation Chair in Molecular Neuroscience at the University of Queensland in 2002, and the inaugural Director of the Queensland Brain Institute in 2003. He initially introduced neuroscience into the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research.


His work has led to several paradigm shifts in our understanding of the nervous system. In 1992, his laboratory co-discovered the presence of stem cells in the adult brain that had the capacity to produce new neurons, overturning the long-held belief that neuronal production ceased in early life. In a paper – front cover of Nature, 2001 – his group was first to isolate and characterise these stem cells.


His group has gone on to reveal the presence of a latent hippocampal stem cell population that can be activated by synaptic stimulation and give rise to new neurons. These discoveries underpin the current concept of functional stem cells in the adult mammalian brain and the burgeoning interest in their importance to learning and memory and to activating the endogenous stem cells to repair damaged or diseased CNS. Professor Bartlett has published more than 180 peer-reviewed papers, and is the recipient of a number of prizes for neuroscience excellence.


View Professor Perry Bartlett's full bio and research page at the University of Queensland here

Professor Donna Rose Addis  

Donna Rose Addis is a Senior Scientist at the Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest Health Sciences and a Professor of Psychology at the University of Toronto. Dr Addis is of Samoan descent and grew up in South Auckland. She completed her BA and MA at The University of Auckland, followed by a PhD at the University of Toronto as a Commonwealth Scholar. She did postdoctoral research at Harvard University and then spent a decade in her homeland of New Zealand as faculty in the School of Psychology and Centre for Brain Research at The University of Auckland. She moved back to Toronto in 2018 to take up one of 24 prestigious Canada 150 Research Chairs – hers focusing on the Cognitive Neuroscience of Memory & Aging.


Her research uses neuropsychological and neuroimaging techniques to understand how we remember our pasts, imagine our futures, and construct a sense of self, and how these abilities change with age, dementia and depression. She has supervised over 50 trainees, has 100 publications with over 15,000 citations, and has secured $6 million in research funding as a PI. These achievements have been recognised with a number of awards, including early career awards from the Cognitive Neuroscience Society and the Association for Psychological Science, as well as the New Zealand Prime Minister’s Emerging Scientist Prize. She is the youngest-ever fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand, elected at the age of 38.