Centre for Brain Research

The Gerontology Research Group

Working together to improve lives

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Principal Investigator - Professor Ngaire Kerse

Professor Ngaire Kerse is an expert on the ageing brain from a population or community health perspective. She is a Principal Investigator at both the Centre for Brain Research and at Brain Research New Zealand (CoRE). At BRNZ, Ngaire leads the "Prevention, Intervation and Delivery" programme, which aims to develop and build capacity for community outreach throughout New Zealand, by promoting clinical evaluation and implementating preventative measures and early interventions, in order to minimise functional decline associated with brain ageing and ageing-related neurological disorders.

Her research areas include promoting activity and function in residential care, residential care organisational culture and outcomes, promoting physical activity in community dwelling older people, activity for depression in the very old, staying upright (preventing falls and injury) in older people in all settings, improving prescribing in primary care, and a large cohort of Māori and non-Māori in advanced age.

Professor Kerse is a member of expert advisory and steering groups for the Health and Quality Safety Commission on preventing harm from falls, the Ministry of Health on comprehensive assessment techniques and roll out of the InterRAI, and the Integrated Performance and Incentives Framework development. 

Ngaire is also a GP at Auckland City Mission, a  scientific advisor of Ageing Well, a National Science Challenge, and Professor of General Practice and Primary Health Care and Head of the School of Population Health at the University of Auckland.


Team members











Kristina Zawaly - PhD candidate

Preventing progression of mild cognitive impairment using Ronnie Gardiner Method of dance

Leah Palapar - PhD candidate

Looking at New Zealand's health pathway and what impact this has in older patients

Nethra Ganesh - PhD candidate

Studying the way that gait changes with dementia

Nisa Mohan - PhD candidate

Examining New Zealand's hospital coding system to ascertain whether it picks up drug interactions and adverse reactions

Stephanie Garratt - PhD candidate

Developing a qualitative research study looking at the administration of medication in aged care facilities 

Garry Nixon - Director of Dunstan Hospital 

Researching how technology can impact the ageing population in rural areas (ultrasound)

Simon Moyes - Data Analyst 


  • Make the lives of older people easier by developing and implementing neuroprotective therapies
  • Generate translational research that facilitates independent living throught the individual's lifecyle
  • Minimize the impact of dementia and degenerative brain diseases in the older population


Areas of interest

  • Staying upright and strong
  • Fall's prevention
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Dementia
  • MCI and risk factors
  • Exercise and gait




For a full list of publications, visit Ngaire's profile at our School of Population Health.