Basal Ganglia Research Group

University of Otago

Amr Alwakeel, BMedSc (Hons) Student, graduated 2011

Amr investigated stem cell therapy after perinatal hypoxia-ischemia. Co-supervised with Drs Catherine Hobbs and Sarah Kohe. Amr is now a 6th year medical student at the University of Otago.

Elizabeth (Libby) Barnett, BSc (Hons) Anatomy Student, graduated 2010

Libby investigated stem cell therapy after perinatal hypoxia-ischemia. Co-supervised with Drs Catherine Hobbs and Rachel Sizemore. Libby then completed a MSc in reproductive technologies and now works in this field in New Zealand.

Melissa Barry, PhD Student, graduated 2010

Melissa investigated neural circuits in the mammalian cerebral cortex and striatum using theta burst simulation. Co-supervised with Assoc. Prof. John Reynolds. Melissa then worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the USA.

Penny Birchall, BSc (Hons) Neuroscience Student, graduated 2003

Penny characterized a new animal model of brain injury due to extreme prematurity. Penny then completed a MSc in forensic sciences and now works in this field in the UK.

Melony Black, BSc (Hons) Neuroscience Student, graduated 1996

Melony investigated immediate gene expression after perinatal hypoxic-ischemic brain injury. Melony completed her PhD and Postdoctoral Fellowships in the USA. Melony is a now an Assistant Research Fellow in Assoc. Prof. John Reynolds’ Lab.

Matthew V Covey, PhD Student [graduated 2004] and BSC (Hons) Neuroscience Student [graduated 1999]

Matt investigated treatments for perinatal hypoxia-ischemia and helped to characterize a new animal model of brain injury due to extreme prematurity. Matt completed two four year Postdoctoral Fellowships in the USA and now works at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories, New York, USA.

Simon Franks, BSc (Hons) Neuroscience Student, graduated 1999

Simon investigated synapses in the rat hypothalamus. Co-supervised with Prof. Dave Grattan.

Kerry A. Galvin, PhD Student [graduated 2000] and BSc (Hons) Anatomy Student [graduated 1994]

Kerry investigated treatments for perinatal hypoxia-ischemia. Kerry now works for the Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Division of Health Sciences, University of Otago.

Emma Gowing, Research technician

Emma extensively characterized a new animal model of brain injury due to extreme prematurity and investigated stem cell therapy for perinatal hypoxic-ischemic brain injury. Emma now works as a Research Technician in the laboratory of Dr Andrew Clarkson, Department of Anatomy, University of Otago.

Catherine Hobbs (nee Stone), PhD Student [graduated 2005] and BSc (Hons) Neuroscience Student [graduated 2000]

Catherine investigated treatments for perinatal hypoxia-ischemia. Catherine completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in the UK and now works at the University of Otago.

William Huang, BMedSc (Hons) student, graduated 2002

William characterized a new animal model of brain injury due to extreme prematurity. William is now a qualified medical practitioner.

Kathryn R. Jones, PhD Student, graduated 1996

Kathryn investigated the effect of aluminium and glutamate on cultured neurons, a topic of relevance to Alzheimer’s Disease.

Ms Annabel Kean, Assistant Research Fellow

Annabel investigated local connectivity between striatal spiny projection neurons. Co-supervised with Prof. Jeff Wickens.

Ben Khouri, PGDipSc Anatomy student, graduated 2009

Ben investigated treatments for perinatal hypoxia-ischemia. Co-supervised with Dr Catherine Hobbs.

Eric Kim, PhD student, graduated 2011

Eric applied stereological methods to investigate neuronal cell death in human Huntington’s Disease. Co-supervised with Prof. Richard Faull, University of Auckland. Eric is working as a Scientist at the University of Auckland.

Sarah Kohe, PhD Student [graduated 2010] and PGDipSc Student [graduated 2005]

Sarah extensively characterized a new animal model of brain injury due to extreme prematurity. Sarah’s thesis was awarded exceptional by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Don Roberton, Division of Health Sciences, University of Otago. Sarah now works as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the UK.

Jen Yuh Lim, BMedSc (Hons) student, graduated 2009

Jen investigated treatments for perinatal hypoxia-ischemia. Jen is now a qualified medical practitioner.

Dr Naili Lin, Assistant Research Fellow

Naili researched local connectivity between striatal spiny projection neurons using a three-dimensional ultrastructural approach.

Bevan Lockwood, Research Technician

Bevan investigated the effects of perinatal hypoxia-ischemia on the brain.

Hayden Lynn, PGDipSc (Hons) Neuroscience Student, graduated 2011

Hayden investigated treatments for perinatal hypoxia-ischemia. Co-supervised with Dr Rachel Sizemore. Hayden now works as a Research Assistant in the UK.

Natalie Matheson, BSc (Hons) Neuroscience Student, graduated 2011

Natalie investigated a treatment for brain injury due to extreme prematurity. Co-supervised with Dr Rachel Sizemore.   Natalie is now undertaking her PhD research in the lab of Assoc. Prof. John Reynolds.

Sonya Mathieson, Research Technician

Sonya investigated the effects of perinatal hypoxia-ischemia on the brain.

Alissa Nana, PhD Student, graduated 2009

Alissa applied stereological methods to investigate neuronal cell death in human Huntington’s Disease. Co-supervised with Prof. Richard Faull, University of Auckland. Alissa is working as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the USA.

Dr Manfred Oswald, Postdoctoral Scientist

Manfred investigated the electrophysiological properties of striatal cholinergic interneurons.   Co-supervised with Assoc. Prof. John Reynolds. Manfred now works as a Postdoctoral Fellow in Dr Ruth Empson’s laboratory, Department of Physiology, University of Otago.

Ginus Partadiredja, Masters student, graduated 2001

Ginus investigated axonal caliber in the cerebral white matter on the right and left side of the brain. The study investigated a hypothesis by Assoc. Prof. Robert Miller that is related to schizophrenia. Co-supervised with Assoc. Prof. Robert Miller. Ginus completed his PhD in Australia and now works as an academic staff member in Indonesia.

Faramarz Rangi, Research Technician

Faramarz investigated immediate gene expression after perinatal hypoxic-ischemic brain injury.

Sha Savanthrapadian, PGDipSc Neuroscience student, graduated 2006

Sha investigated treatments for perinatal hypoxia-ischemia. Sha completed a MSc in the lab of Prof. Cliff Abraham, University of Otago.

Dr Elizabeth Scarr, Postdoctoral Scientist

Lizi investigated immediate gene expression after perinatal hypoxic-ischemic brain injury.

Rachel Sizemore, PhD Student, graduated 2009

Rachel investigated neural circuits in the mammalian striatum using correlative light and electron microscopy. Co-supervised with Assoc. Prof. John Reynolds. Rachel now works as a Postdoctoral Fellow in Assoc. Prof. Dorothy Oorschot’s lab and is co-supervised by Dr Louise Parr-Brownlie.

Natasha Sparks, BSc (Hons) Student, graduated 2006

Natasha characterized a new animal model of brain injury due to extreme prematurity. Natasha completed a PhD in clinical anatomy at the University of Otago.

Deborah A. Stuart, PhD Student, graduated 1999

Deborah investigated treatments for spinal cord injury.

Doris Thu, PhD Student, graduated 2006

Doris applied stereological methods to investigate neuronal cell death in human Huntington’s Disease. Doris’ thesis was awarded exceptional by the University of Auckland. Co-supervised with Prof. Richard Faull, University of Auckland. Doris completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Europe.

Dr Margaret Tompkins, Assistant Research Fellow

Margaret investigated treatments for perinatal hypoxia-ischemia.

Dr Mark Tunstall, Postdoctoral Scientist

Mark investigated local connectivity between striatal spiny projection neurons. Co-supervised with Prof. Jeff Wickens.

Dr Logan Voss, Postdoctoral Scientist

Logan extensively characterized a new animal model of brain injury due to extreme prematurity. Logan now works as a Scientist at the University of Auckland.

Tim Wastney, PGDipSc Neuroscience student, graduated 2004

Tim investigated the circuitry of spiny projection neurons in the rat striatum.

Rong Zhang, PhD Student, graduated 2002

Rong investigated cholinergic circuitry in the rat striatum. Rong now works as a Scientist at the University of Auckland.