Digitally created image of brain in skull

ForeFront

RESEARCH CENTRE

Students

The program aims to provide rigour and excellence in laboratory and clinical research training to the next generation of clinical researchers.

From the laboratory perspective, we will continue to train PhD and honours students through university academic programs, and to mentor postdoctoral researchers to develop into independent scientists. We will disseminate the wide range of experimental techniques and model systems that are used in this program to train the next generation of molecular neuroscientists.

From the clinical perspective, we propose to expand the current personnel by supporting clinical fellows, provide for PhD scholarship stipends, in addition to funding a dedicated clinical research neuropsychologist, occupational therapist, speech pathologist, clinical nurse specialist, exercise physiologist and database manager. As such, the program will train clinical researchers and will facilitate development of career paths that encompass integrated neuroscience and clinical skills. This strategy will ensure an emerging cohort of clinician researchers who can facilitate translation of neuroscience findings into clinical practice and, importantly, optimise public health benefits by disseminating most recent evidence-based practice to community settings. Each clinician researcher will be trained in an interdisciplinary culture, co-supervised by investigators with different areas of expertise, thereby promoting integration of diverse approaches.

Prof Kril has academic expertise in research student training (Assoc Dean, Postgraduate Studies, Sydney Medical School) and will take prime responsibility for developing and overseeing training and mentoring within the program with the remit to substantially grow our capacity in this area.

For more information on how to get involved with either the clinical or laboratory based research please contact jillian.kril@sydney.edu.au.

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Caress the Detail: A Comprehensive MRI Atlas of the in Vivo Human Brain

This project aims to deliver the most comprehensive, detailed and stereotaxically accurate MRI atlas of the canonical human brain. In human neuroscience, researchers and clinicians almost always investigate images obtained from living individuals. Yet, there is no satisfactory MRI atlas of the human brain in vivo or post-mortem. There are some population-based atlases, which valiantly solve a number of problems, but they fail to address major needs. Most problematically, they segment only a small number of brain structures, typically about 50, and they are of limited value for the interpretation of a single subject/patient. In contrast to population-based approaches, the present project will investigate normal, living subjects in detail. We aim to define approximately 800 structures, as in the histological atlas of Mai, Majtanik and Paxinos (2016), and, thus, provide a “gold standard” for science and clinical practice. We will do this by obtaining high-resolution MRI at 3T and 7T of twelve subjects through a collaboration with Markus Barth from the Centre for Advanced Imaging at the University of Queensland (UQ). The limited number of subjects will allow us to image each for longer periods, obtaining higher resolution and contrast, and to invest the required time to produce unprecedented detail in segmentation. We will produce an electronic atlas for interpreting MR images, both as a tablet application and as an online web service. The tablet application will provide a convenient and powerful exegesis of brain anatomy for researchers and clinicians. The open access web service will additionally provide images, segmentation and anatomical templates to be used with most common MR-analysis packages (e.g., SPM, FSL, MINC, BrainVoyager). This will be hosted in collaboration with UQ, supporting and complementing their population-based atlas.
PROJECT