Neuroimaging in schizophrenia/bipolar disorders

Research Opportunity
PhD, Masters by Research, Honours, Master of Biomedical Science
Project Status
Future
Department
Psychiatry
Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr Vanessa Cropley vcropley@unimelb.edu.au +61 3 83441876 Personal web page
Dr Tamsyn Van Rheenen tamsyn.van@unimelb.edu.au +61 3 9035 8628 Personal web page

Project Details

The Melbourne Neuropsychiatry Centre (MNC) is a joint centre of Melbourne Health (North Western Mental Health) and The University of Melbourne (Department of Psychiatry). Research at MNC focuses on improving our understanding of the neurobiological processes involved in disorders of the brain and mind. Our group has established a data resource of structural and functional Magnetic Resonance Image (MRI) scans from neuropsychiatric populations including individuals with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and non-psychiatric controls.

The Psychosis and Developmental Neuropsychiatry Stream of MNC has on offer several projects investigating the neurobiological and behavioural underpinnings of psychotic disorders. These projects will be developed by the student and may utilise brain imaging scans, clinical, cognitive and genetic data previously collected from on-going studies. Example projects include:

  • Examining interactions between inflammation, stress and childhood adversity on brain structure and behaviour
  • Investigating the impact of neurological soft signs on cortical gyrification, cognition and age of illness onset in schizophrenia
  • Characterising brain structural, cognitive and clinical change over 12-months in patients with first-episode psychosis and established schizophrenia and investigating the moderators of such change
  • Understanding brain structural influences on component processes involved in verbal declarative memory in bipolar disorder.
  • Characterising cognitive intra-individual variability and its links to underlying brain structure in bipolar disorder.
  • Investigating structural covariance of the fronto-limbic circuit in bipolar disorder and understanding its relationship to illness duration.

The student will be responsible for the development of the proposal and generation of study hypotheses, data pre-processing and cleaning and statistical analysis of brain imaging scans and associated clinical, cognitive and/or genetic data. The student will be trained in the application of imaging analysis in neuropsychiatry.

Research Opportunities

This research project is available to PhD, Masters by Research, Honours, Master of Biomedical Science students to join as part of their thesis.
Please contact the supervisor to discuss your options.



Faculty Research Themes

Neuroscience

School Research Themes

Neuroscience & Psychiatry



Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.

Department

Psychiatry

Research Group / Unit / Centre

Psychosis & Developmental Neuropsychiatry