Neurophysiology, neurodegeneration and neuroinflammation


We aim to discover new and improved ways to prevent, diagnose and treat neurological disorders.

Our researchers are internationally recognized for their high quality research in basic and clinical neuroscience. Together, we aim to improve our understanding of the nervous system in health, injury and disease. We have research teams investigating the molecular basis of neurodevelopmental and neurobehavioural disorders, the mechanisms of brain injury following stroke or trauma, and the role of the nervous system in conditions such as obesity and hypertension.

This theme also includes research into neurodegenerative diseases such as:

  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • chronic traumatic encephalopathy
  • motor neuron disease.

The role of neuroinflammation is a particular focus of this group; however, several neurobiological mechanisms are studied for their contribution to injury and disease. Through investigations into a range of novel biomarkers and treatments, the major goal of our research is to develop methods that will improve clinical outcomes.

Research groups

Gene-environment interactions

Group leaders: Dr. Mark Jois and Dr. Jency Thomas
We are interested in understanding the role gene-environment interactions in the development of diseases relevant to public health.

Microbial communities in the environment

Group leader: Associate Professor Ashley Franks
We focus on the study of the structure and function of microbial communities in the environment.

Molecular and developmental endocrinology

Group leader: Dr. Bert De Groef
The role of (neuro)hormones, receptors and gene transcription factors in vertebrate embryonic development, using the mouse and chicken as the main animal models.

Neurodegenerative diseases laboratory

Group leader: Dr. Ross O'Shea
We investigate the mechanisms underlying neuronal death in neurodegenerative diseases and the role of non-neuronal cells in protecting against this neuronal death.

Neuropharmacology of addiction

Group leader: Dr. Elvan Djouma
We are interested in the underlying mechanisms in the brain involved in drug-seeking behaviour and relapse to drugs of abuse.


Group leader: Dr. Joon (Kyungjoon) Lim
Our research centres on cardiovascular neuroscience and fills a niche between the clinic and basic research.