Dr Madeleine Hinwood

Dr Madeleine Hinwood

Research Academic

School of Medicine and Public Health

Improving chronic disease outcomes in Australia

Dr Madeleine Hinwood is using research to strengthen our knowledge of how mental illnesses develop, advance evidence-based treatments and preventions, and improve public access to safe, effective medication.

Madeleine is committed to improving the way mental and neurological disorders are treated and prevented in Australia. From preclinical research to informing health policies, the impact of Madeleine’s work is two-fold: contributing to a better understanding of stress-related disorders, and ensuring safe, effective medications are accessible to the public.

Delivering affordable treatments

While mental illness has received greater public attention and research funding in recent years, getting effective and affordable medication on the shelves for patients remains challenging.

“There are so many interesting preclinical (animal) studies happening to further our understanding of the brain and the disorders of the central nervous system. However, the translation of these studies into useful clinical applications is notoriously difficult.

“Even when research does translate to improved medications, we face the challenge of access and affordability for the general public. How do we get safe, effective medication into the hands of those who need it?”

In her role as an external academic evaluator for the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, Madeleine provides expert clinical and economic advice to the federal government to inform decisions about which new medicines should be subsidised for the Australian public, to make them more accessible.

Since 2015, Madeleine’s work has helped deliver subsidised pharmaceuticals for thousands of patients annually.

“We evaluate the effectiveness, safety, and cost-effectiveness of new pharmaceutical listings. This is multi-million dollar applied research and evaluation that directly informs health policy and clinical practice, and impacts upon public access to medicines.”

Innovative mental health research

Alongside her evaluation work, Madeleine is involved in several innovative neurological research projects in collaboration with researchers from Hunter New England Health, the Stroke Research Group (Hunter Medical Research Institute and the University of Newcastle), and the Centre for Brain Repair and Rehabilitation at Sahlgrenska Academy, Gothenburg University in Sweden.

Still in the early development stages, the team’s collaborative research will explore how chronic stress can change the brain’s wiring, potentially making people more vulnerable to common mental health illnesses such as depression.

“I have a long standing interest in studying the changes in brain and behaviour that occur in response to stress. Increasingly, people are being exposed to detrimental levels of stress. And while short bursts are beneficial—allowing us to appropriately respond to potential threats—long-term, chronic stress can take a toll on the body’s resources.

“Stress is a key behavioural risk factor for a number of disorders, including diabetes and cardiovascular disease. However, it hasn’t received the same attention as other behavioural risk factors, such as smoking or physical activity. Investigating the contribution of stress to these disorders provides an opportunity to dramatically improve health outcomes.”

As well as understanding the effects of stress, Madeleine’s team is looking for ways to combat it, by examining whether there is a gold standard for stress intervention strategies and exploring the interactions between stress and the immune system.

“There is a rapidly growing number of medicines that target the immune system. I’m interested to see how these medicines affect disorders of the central nervous system, and how this might interact with stress.

“For example, we can link the use of certain medicines to positive and negative mental health outcomes—such as risk of dementia or depression—in certain high-risk cohorts over long periods of time.”

Madeleine’s team is exploring new ways to mitigate the effects of chronic stress using a combination of treatments, such as pharmacological treatment and cognitive-behavioural strategies.

“The big question is: what strategies can we use to mitigate the presence of chronic stress? Currently, no one strategy has been shown to work conclusively, but we are committed to finding new solutions.”

Looking to the future

Madeleine’s work is attracting well-deserved attention. Over the past five years, Madeleine has secured $5.6 million in research funding, received a University of Newcastle Faculty of Health and Medicine award for best PhD thesis and, in 2018, she was selected to participate in the Faculty-facilitated ThinkWell Early and Mid-Career Women’s Development Program. The program provides support for emerging researchers, helping them progress in their field and make their mark.

For Madeleine, the idea of “making a mark” means building on preclinical research to help in the translation of novel prevention strategies and treatments for mental and neurological disorders.

“We are still at the beginning of our understanding about the brain and disorders of the central nervous system. I’d love to see what we know about how the brain works in another 100 years!”

Improving chronic disease outcomes in Australia

Dr Madeleine Hinwood is using research to strengthen our knowledge of how mental illnesses develop, advance evidence-based treatments and preventions, and improve public access to safe, effective medication.

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Career Summary

Biography

Dr Madeleine Hinwood is a research academic in the School of Medicine and Public Health with the University of Newcastle. In this role, Madeleine provides external evaluation of submissions to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee, examining the effectiveness, safety, and cost-effectiveness of new pharmaceuticals for the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. Her work directly informs health policy and clinical practice, helping to ensure drugs are safe, effective and accessible for the public. A promising early-career researcher, Madeleine is also involved in multiple traditional research projects that build on her early work as a preclinical neuroscientist, helping translate preclinical and early-phase neurological research into clinical approaches using epidemiological techniques.

Madeleine’s curiosity for how the brain works began during her undergraduate years studying psychology, where she focused on neurobiology. In 2013, Madeleine completed her PhD in neuroscience at the University of Newcastle, supported by an Australian Postgraduate Award. Her PhD research focused on the relationship between central immune system activation, stress and mood disorder. Madeleine investigated neuroadaptations in response to chronic stress, examining how neurons and immune cells (microglia) in the brain change when exposed to chronic stress, and then targeted these adaptations with translational compounds, including medicines commonly used to treat infections or mood disorder.

Chronic stress is a known precursor to many disorders, such as depression, anxiety, and cardiovascular disease. By examining how chronic stress changes the brain, Madeleine’s PhD work highlighted how stress-related neurological changes may be associated with depression. The project also measured how antidepressants and other compounds affected these processes.

Before stepping into her current role with the University, Madeleine spent three years working in public health and health planning for a federal government program, running projects in health planning, epidemiology, and mental health. Her love for applied research, especially clinical studies, brought her back to the University in 2015 as a research academic, where she also completed a Master of Clinical Epidemiology in 2017.

Madeleine’s research interests include stress-related disorders (depression, anxiety, PTSD, and cardiovascular disorders); stress associated with chronic disease; health technology assessment; clinical epidemiology; systematic reviews; network meta-analysis; pharmaceutical evaluation; methodological research and cohort studies. Madeleine has published eight articles in peer-reviewed journals and 10 health technology assessment reports. Collectively she is cited over 700 times.


Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Newcastle
  • Bachelor of Psychology (Honours), University of Newcastle
  • Master of Clinical Epidemiology, University of Newcastle

Keywords

  • Epidemiology
  • Mental Health
  • Neurological disorders
  • Pharmacoeconomics
  • Pharmacology
  • Preventative health care
  • Public health
  • Stress

Languages

  • English (Mother)

Fields of Research

Code Description Percentage
111599 Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences not elsewhere classified 40
119999 Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified 30
170199 Psychology not elsewhere classified 30

Professional Experience

UON Appointment

Title Organisation / Department
Research Academic University of Newcastle
School of Medicine and Public Health
Australia
Research Academic Priority Research Centre (PRC) for Healthy Lungs | The University of Newcastle
School of Medicine and Public Health
Australia
Research Academic University of Newcastle
School of Medicine and Public Health
Australia
Casual Academic University of Newcastle
School of Medicine and Public Health
Australia
Casual Academic Priority Research Centre (PRC) for Healthy Lungs | The University of Newcastle
School of Medicine and Public Health
Australia
Casual Academic University of Newcastle
School of Medicine and Public Health
Australia

Teaching

Code Course Role Duration
PUBH6250 Health Economics
School of Medicine & Public Health, Faculty of Health & Medicine, University of Newcastle | Australia
Lecturer 25/02/2019 - 30/06/2019
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Publications

For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.


Journal article (9 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2019 Hinwood M, Kluge MG, Ilicic M, Walker FR, 'Understanding microglial involvement in stress-induced mood disturbance: a modulator of vulnerability?', Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, 28 98-104 (2019)
DOI 10.1016/j.cobeha.2019.01.001
Co-authors Marina Ilicic
2013 Tynan RJ, Beynon SB, Hinwood M, Johnson SJ, Nilsson M, Woods JJ, Walker FR, 'Chronic stress-induced disruption of the astrocyte network is driven by structural atrophy and not loss of astrocytes', Acta Neuropathologica, 126 75-91 (2013) [C1]
DOI 10.1007/s00401-013-1102-0
Citations Scopus - 60Web of Science - 58
Co-authors Rohan Walker, Sarah Johnson, Michael Nilsson
2013 Hinwood M, Tynan RJ, Charnley JL, Beynon SB, Day TA, Walker FR, 'Chronic Stress Induced Remodeling of the Prefrontal Cortex: Structural Re-Organization of Microglia and the Inhibitory Effect of Minocycline', CEREBRAL CORTEX, 23 1784-1797 (2013) [C1]
DOI 10.1093/cercor/bhs151
Citations Scopus - 114Web of Science - 97
Co-authors Rohan Walker
2012 Tynan R, Weidenhofer JC, Hinwood M, Cairns MJ, Day TA, Walker FR, 'A comparative examination of the anti-inflammatory effects of SSRI and SNRI antidepressants on LPS stimulated microglia', Brain Behavior and Immunity, 26 469-479 (2012) [C1]
Citations Scopus - 146Web of Science - 138
Co-authors Rohan Walker, Judith Weidenhofer, Murray Cairns
2012 Hinwood M, Morandini J, Day TA, Walker FR, 'Evidence that microglia mediate the neurobiological effects of chronic psychological stress on the medial prefrontal cortex', Cerebral Cortex, 22 1442-1454 (2012) [C1]
Citations Scopus - 190Web of Science - 174
Co-authors Rohan Walker
2011 Hinwood M, Tynan R, Day TA, Walker FR, 'Repeated social defeat selectively increases DeltaFosB expression and histone H3 acetylation in the infralimbic medial prefrontal cortex', Cerebral Cortex, 21 262-271 (2011) [C1]
DOI 10.1093/cercor/bhq080
Citations Scopus - 40Web of Science - 34
Co-authors Rohan Walker
2010 Tynan R, Naicker S, Hinwood M, Nalivaiko E, Buller KM, Pow DV, et al., 'Chronic stress alters the density and morphology of microglia in a subset of stress-responsive brain regions', Brain Behavior and Immunity, 24 1058-1068 (2010) [C1]
DOI 10.1016/j.bbi.2010.02.001
Citations Scopus - 213Web of Science - 197
Co-authors Eugene Nalivaiko, Rohan Walker
2009 Walker FR, Naicker S, Hinwood M, Dunn N, Day TA, 'Strain differences in coping behaviour, novelty seeking behaviour, and susceptibility to socially conditioned fear: A comparison between Wistar and Sprague Dawley rats', Stress: The International Journal on the Biology of Stress, 12 507-516 (2009) [C1]
DOI 10.3109/10253890802673134
Citations Scopus - 13Web of Science - 12
Co-authors Rohan Walker
2008 Walker FR, Hinwood M, Masters LM, Dielenberg R, Day TA, 'Individual differences predict susceptibility to conditioned fear arising from psychosocial trauma', Journal of Psychiatric Research, 42 371-383 (2008) [C1]
DOI 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2007.01.007
Citations Scopus - 19Web of Science - 17
Co-authors Rohan Walker
Show 6 more journal articles

Conference (7 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2012 Walker FR, Tynan R, Hinwood M, Woodworth SB, 'The role of microglia in cognitive disturbance: A new frontier in the neurobiology of stress', Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, San Diego, CA (2012) [E3]
Co-authors Rohan Walker
2011 Walker FR, Tynan R, Day TA, Ng A, Hinwood M, 'What have microglia got to do with it? New directions in the neurobiology of depression', Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, Chicago, Illinois (2011) [E3]
Co-authors Rohan Walker
2008 Hinwood M, Walker R, Day TA, 'Characterisation and cellular specificity of the [triangle symbol] FOSB response to chronic social stress in rat infralimbic cortex', Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, Newcastle, NSW (2008) [E3]
2007 Hinwood M, Walker FR, Day TA, 'Characterisation of fosB response in rat forebrain following exposure to chronic social stress (Poster)', 7th IBRO 2007 World Congress of Neuroscience Program, Melbourne (2007) [E3]
Co-authors Rohan Walker
2007 Walker FR, Hinwood M, Masters LM, Dielenberg R, Day TA, 'Individual differences predict susceptibility to conditioned fear arising from psychosocial trauma (Poster)', 7th IBRO 2007 World Congress of Neuroscience Program, Melbourne (2007) [E3]
Co-authors Rohan Walker
2006 Paton BK, Hinwood M, Budd TW, 'The effects of MR scanner noise on auditory thresholds: a psychoacoustic study using SAM white noise, pure tones and complex tones', Clinical EEG and Neuroscience V37, April 2006, Proceedings of the 15th Annual Conference of the Australasian Society for Psychophysiology, University of Wollongong, Sydney, Australia (2006) [E3]
Co-authors Bill Budd, Bryan Paton
2006 Hinwood M, Paton BK, Budd TW, 'Acoustic masking by EPI gradient sounds on detection thresholds for amplitude modulation as a function of a modulation rate', Clinical EEG and Neuroscience V37, April 2006, Proceedings of the 15th Annual Conference of the Australasian Society for Psychophysiology, University of Wollongong, Sydney, Australia (2006) [E3]
Co-authors Bryan Paton, Bill Budd
Show 4 more conferences
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Grants and Funding

Summary

Number of grants 1
Total funding $5,612,447

Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.


20171 grants / $5,612,447

Provision of external evaluation of Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) and health technology related submissions$5,612,447

Funding body: Department of Health

Funding body Department of Health
Project Team Ms Danielle Lang, Mr Rob Bell, Mr Marc Bevan, Ms Lynn Goon, Doctor Madeleine Hinwood, Mr Jarrod Bell, Doctor Emily Walkom
Scheme Consultancy/Tender
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2017
Funding Finish 2020
GNo G1601071
Type Of Funding C2110 - Aust Commonwealth - Own Purpose
Category 2110
UON Y
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Dr Madeleine Hinwood

Positions

Research Academic
Newcastle Evaluation Group
School of Medicine and Public Health
Faculty of Health and Medicine

Casual Academic
Newcastle Evaluation Group
School of Medicine and Public Health
Faculty of Health and Medicine

Contact Details

Email madeleine.hinwood@newcastle.edu.au
Phone (02) 4014 3013

Office

Building Level 5, Clinical Sciences Building
Location Mater Hospital, Edith Street Waratah

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