Prof Louise Parr-Brownlie

Department of Anatomy, University of Otago

Professor Parr-Brownlie has internationally recognised expertise in understanding how activity in the motor thalamus, motor cortex and basal ganglia control normal movements and is altered in Parkinson’s disease. Her team use a combination of optogenetic stimulation, electrophysiological recordings, electron and confocal microscopy to investigate brain function and structure. They have applied optogenetic stimulation to determine if there are better places and ways to stimulate the brain to improve movements in models of Parkinson’s disease.

She has been an invited speaker at prestigious conferences in the United States, such as Howard Hughes Medical Institute (Janelia) and Gordon Research Conferences. Dr Parr-Brownlie has extended her research programme to (1) examine anatomical and physiological changes in the brain associated with chronic pain, (2) role of neuroinflammation in the progression of Parkinson’s disease and (3) investigate Māori community perspectives of neurosurgical approaches to treat neurological disorders and traumatic brain injury.

Professor Parr-Brownlie also held the roles of Director of the Ageing Well National Science Challenge, and Deputy Head of Department of Anatomy.

Current staff member in the laboratory is Dr Elodie Kip (ARF). Current postgraduate students are Lily Bentall (PhD) and Alexander Woolrych (MMedSc).

2021 – Mariana Te Pou, Conor Underwood, Lily Bentall, Louise, Grace Kendall, Elodie Kip