Centre for Brain Research

Molecular, Cellular and Network Neurophysiology

Working together to improve lives


About this team

This group aims to characterise the cellular and molecular mechanisms of neuronal damage occurring acutely during stroke, and chronically in Parkinson's disease.

Principal Investigator - Professor Janusz Lipski MD, PhD is a professor of Neurophysiology at the Department of Physiology and Centre for Brain Research in the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences,. Visit Professor Lipski's department profile here

Associated Investigator - Dr Peter Freestone PhD is a former Aotearoa Fellow and a researcher at the Department of Physiology and Centre of Brain Research in the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences. Visit Dr Freestone's department profile here.  



Team members


Andrew Yee – PhD candidate


Yuhuni (Yvonne) Sun – Research Technician


Kathryn Todd – Honours student


Blaze Forbes – Summer student


Rashika Karunasinghe - PhD - AI      



For a full list of publications, visit Professor Janusz Lipski and Dr Peter Freestone's University pages.


  • To better understand the organisation of the basal ganglia and the roles of dopamine and endocannabinoids  in controlling the function of this system  in physiological and pathophysiological conditions;
  • Identify novel therapeutic targets to improve treatment of Parkinson’s disease


Areas of interest

  • Pathophysiology of Parkinson’s disease and other brain disorders caused by dysfunction of dopaminergic neurons
  • The mechanisms by which dopamine controls the function of the basal ganglia
  • Novel effects of L-DOPA and endocannabinoids on nigral dopaminergic neurons
  • Regulation of dopamine uptake by brain dopaminergic systems
  • Neuronal connections within the basal ganglia