Director Sydney Brain Bank
Conjoint Lecturer in Pathology, UNSW
+612 9399 1690
Dr Claire Shepherd is the Director of the Sydney Brain Bank at Neuroscience Research Australia. She trained in neuroscience and completed her PhD in Alzheimer’s disease at the University of Sheffield, UK. After completing her PhD she relocated to Sydney to pursue her interest in the neuropathology of dementia. Soon after her move, Claire was awarded the prestigious Rolf Edgar Lake Fellowship from the University of Sydney and subsequently directed a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) project grant as CIA. In 2000 Claire was awarded the inaugural Franz Nissl Young Investigator Prize in Neuroscience in recognition of achievements in her early post-doctoral years. She now runs the Sydney Brain Bank, which is a research facility that collects, characterises and stores brain tissue for research into neurodegenerative disease. Claire is also the Director of the Shepherd Dementia Research Laboratory at NeuRA and lead investigator on the NeuRA Volunteers Brain Donor Program – a longitudinal research program aimed at investigating the clinical consequences of the cellular changes that occur during ageing. In October 2019, Claire received funding from the Brain Foundation for a new research program that will investigate the presence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in the brain tissue of a large population of well-characterised individuals held by the Sydney Brain Bank and determine any association with repetitive traumatic brain injury exposure. On 27 November, the National Rugby League (NRL) announced support of a new donor program for former players to the Sydney Brain Bank. This is part of Claire’s newest research into how sports-related brain changes impact on a player’s quality of life.
(Clip: Seven News)
CARLA SCICLUNA Research Assistant
To investigate the prevalence of clinically relevant multiple system atrophy (MSA) and Lewy body disease (LBD) pathologies in a large frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) cohort to determine if concomitant pathologies underlie the heterogeneity of clinical features. Coexisting LBD in FTLD comprises a small proportion of cases but has implications for clinical and neuropathologic diagnoses and the identification of biomarkers.