We are Australian leaders in functional and structural examination of the brain and peripheral nervous system. We are discovering the fundamental neural changes that occur during development, and how these might be changed or disrupted by disease and environmental impacts. Our research across the lifespan is advancing our understanding of how to keep the brain healthy for longer.
Our research addresses fundamental neurobiological questions and important biomedical problems including: poor fetal growth, cerebral palsy, obesity, stress, cognitive dysfunction, cardiovascular disease, stroke, sleep disorders, and the origins of behavioural abnormalities such as autism.
We use molecular, pharmacological, microfluidics, neurophysiological, and behavioural assessment techniques to enable the investigation of oxidative stress, neurogenesis and myelination, mitochondrial function, regulation of brain energy supply, neuroendocrinology of stress, quantitative assessment of behaviour and cognition, and detailed evaluation of brain structure using MRI/MRS, electrophysiology, qPCR, Next-Gen sequencing, super-resolution microscopy and immunohistochemistry.
In this section
Recent health and biomedical science news
Test measures immune response to improve ovarian cancer diagnosis
Researchers have developed a simple blood test that measures the body’s own immune response to improve diagnosis of ovarian cancer.
How the brain’s immune system could be harnessed to improve memory
When it comes to memory, immune cells are known as the “bad cops” of the brain. But new research shows they could also be turned into “good cops” to power memory and learning.
Putting people at the heart of health
How do you make integrated care the future of health in Australia? The key is collaboration.
‘I had no choice but to quit study and save my life’: A Syrian refugee’s road to graduation
Seven years after she was first accepted into dental school in Syria, Sidori Younan finally graduated at Melbourne’s Marvel Stadium in December, where she joined graduands from across RMIT’s vibrant global network.
Immune ‘control switch’ could prevent brain injury in premature babies
Researchers have discovered an immune control switch that could protect the brains of premature babies, who often suffer brain injuries when their immune response goes into overdrive.
Non-viral gene therapy to speed up cancer research
A new treatment method promises to speed up gene therapy research and could bring new, patient friendly cancer treatments to market faster.
New hope for treatment to cure malaria and stop it spreading
The latest finding in a decades long research collaboration looks set to pave the way for the development of new malaria drugs that could both treat and block transmission of the deadly disease.
How stress can turn our bodies against us – and what we can do about it
Stress is an inevitable part of life, but what happens when it starts to negatively affect our health? And what exactly does chronic stress do to our bodies?
Research confirms gut-brain connection in autism
People with autism often suffer from gut problems, but nobody has known why. Researchers have now discovered the same gene mutations – found both in the brain and the gut – could be the cause.
Unpacking the links: Chronic stress, fertility and the ‘hunger hormone’
Researchers have uncovered a new link between chronic stress and reproductive problems, in a pre-clinical study that shines the spotlight on a hunger-triggering hormone.
Five things you should know about the brain in your gut
From moods to memory, the brain in our guts has a big impact on the brain in our heads.
The science of fighting brain injuries in babies
In their search for ways to prevent and heal brain injuries in babies, researchers are delving deep to unlock the secrets of the developing brain.
Scientists don’t really get the female brain – and it’s a problem for women’s health
A major new review examines what we know (and don't know) about the unique aspects of the female brain, the lack of female-specific research, and why it’s a real issue for women's health.
Four ways sleep deprivation affects your brain and your body
Sleep is one of the unsung heroes of health, with serious consequences when we don’t get enough. Our experts explain what happens when you’re sleep deprived and share their tips to better sleep.
RMIT women named superstars of STEM
Three RMIT researchers from STEM have been named among 60 Australian women recognised for outstanding contributions to their fields.
Fantastic four: meet the researchers changing the future of health
Technology is having a huge impact on our health. Here four RMIT researchers talk about the potential impact of their work as we live even longer lives.
Sleep apnoea creates gaps in life memories: study
People with sleep apnoea struggle to remember details of memories from their own lives, potentially making them vulnerable to depression, new research has shown.
Researchers tackle HIV and brain injury with NHMRC funding success
Three RMIT researchers have been awarded a total of $2.5 million in funding for projects investigating brain damage in infants and new treatments for managing HIV.
Grey matters: why your brain needs sleep
Ahead of this week’s Sleep and Brain Health Symposium, Dr Melinda Jackson from RMIT’s School of Health and Biomedical Sciences shares the ugly truth about quality sleep and a healthy brain.
Thermal imaging improves diabetes related foot ulcer assessment
Thermal imaging can better predict a diabetes related foot ulcer’s size and the healing trajectory than conventional methods, Melbourne-led research has found.
From Mexico to Melbourne: journey of a biomedical trailblazer
Trailblazing immunologist Magdalena Plebanski knew she was in the right job after visiting Africa more than 20 years ago and seeing the devastating effects of malaria.
The gut-brain connection: a new frontier for autism research
Researchers are discovering new connections between the brain and gut that could make a difference to the daily life of children with autism and their families.
New Future Fellows boost RMIT research
New ARC Future Fellowships awarded to RMIT researchers will support landmark projects on foetal brain development, improving human rights and cutting-edge photonics.
Snooze mobiles: how vibrations in cars make drivers sleepy
New research has found the natural vibrations of cars make people sleepier, affecting concentration and alertness levels just 15 minutes after drivers get behind the wheel.
Lending a helping hand
RMIT University and Hands on Health Australia (HoHA) have teamed up to deliver a student outreach health clinic to Indigenous football and netball club, the Fitzroy Stars.
Swallowable sensors reveal mysteries of human gut health
Findings from the first human trials of a breakthrough gas-sensing swallowable capsule could revolutionise the way that gut disorders and diseases are prevented and diagnosed.