UON researcher awarded Fulbright Professional Scholarship

Monday, 13 February 2017

Associate Professor Peter Stanwell has been awarded a Fulbright Professional Scholarship.

With a 20+ year history in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), Peter will use his Fulbright Scholarship to explore the underlying changes that occur in the brain after traumatic brain injury, and how these changes predispose some individuals to later-life cognitive deterioration and neurodegeneration.

Severe TBI is a well-established risk factor for the development of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) and has strong associations with the development of later-life dementia.

There is now greater concern amongst healthcare professionals that milder forms of repetitive brain injury may also have long-term adverse effects on cognition and development of dementia in later, adult life in high-risk groups. Peter’s recent work combining CLARITY-light-sheet microscopy and advanced MRI techniques has explored ultrastructural changes that occur following brain injury.

Working with global experts in advanced MRI imaging and analysis, and light sheet fluorescence microscopy Peter will build on this preliminary work and help researchers gain new insights in this area. As well, he hopes to identify evidence-based MRI biomarkers to optimise medical treatment of patients following traumatic brain injuries.

Peter will work with Assistant Professor Alex Lin, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Dr Susan Whitfield-Gabrielli at the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT, to achieve these goals.

“With this Fulbright scholarship I will be able to learn from some of the giants in the neuroimaging field, be exposed to new ideas in neuroimaging of traumatic brain injury and build new collaborations with world leading universities,” Peter says.

This global collaboration between the world’s leading researchers in biomedical sciences and neuroscience is yet another step in Peter’s formidable career, and will continue to establish him as a respected research leader in the traumatic brain injury field.

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The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.