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Dr Adam Walker


Principal investigator

Ross Maclean Senior REsearch Fellow, NHMRC rd wright Career development fellow

Adam has focused on uncovering the pathogenic mechanisms of motor neuron disease and frontotemporal dementia for over 10 years. He obtained his BSc(Hons) in biochemistry from the University of Tasmania, PhD in neuroscience from the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health at the University of Melbourne, and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Research at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia and also at Macquarie University, Sydney. Adam was an NHMRC CJ Martin Overseas Biomedical Research Fellow and began an NHMRC RD Wright Career Development Fellowship in 2018, to continue his research on neurodegenerative diseases. His research has been supported by project grants from the NHMRC, Dementia Australia, and the Motor Neuron Disease Research Institute of Australia (with the MonSTaR Foundation and the Cure for MND Foundation), among others. At QBI, Adam and the lab are grateful to be supported by the Ross Maclean Fellowship for MND Research and the Brazil Family Program for Neurology. Adam is a member of the QBI Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Committee and the University of Queensland Ally Network, which aims to ‘create a safe, welcoming and inclusive space for sex, gender and sexuality diverse people at UQ and in the broader community’.


Dr Rebecca San gil


postdoctoral Fellow (2018-)

Bec completed her PhD at the Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute, University of Wollongong, focused on understanding the role of heat shock proteins and glial cells in neurodegenerative disease. She is now developing new approaches to understand the role of TDP-43 in disease pathogenesis.


DR Heledd Brown-Wright


postdoctoral Fellow (2019-)

Heledd completed her PhD at Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience (SITraN), University of Sheffield, UK, where she was investigating the role of mGlu5 as a novel therapeutic target in the SOD1G93A mouse model of MND. She is now working with the hTDP-43ΔNLS mouse model with a view to validating novel therapeutic targets for ALS/FTD.


Juliana Venturato


Senior Research Assistant (2018-)

Juliana uses her wealth of experience in cell culture, biochemistry and molecular biology to study the molecular mechanisms of ALS and FTD, and to keep the lab running smoothly. 


Britt berning


phd Student (2017-)

Britt studies the role of subcellular organelle dysfunction in MND/FTD, using neuronal cell cultures and mouse models of disease. She is the recipient of an MNDRIA PhD scholarship to support her research in our lab.


thomas hedl


PHD STUDent (2018-)

Tom uses proteomics techniques to analyse the protein composition of neuronal pathology in MND and FTD. He completed his Master of Research in the lab in 2017, and is now undertaking his PhD studies at QBI.


Dr Joshua Hoi Ki Tam

visiting Scientist (2018-)

Josh juggles his medical training with research in our lab, where he is studying how TDP-43 dysfunction is linked with neurodegeneration.


Sean Keating


Honours STUDent (2019-)

Sean is using CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing technology to create new models to study TDP-43 in ALS and FTD. He is also investigating the role of protein clearance pathways that may contribute to degradation of pathological TDP-43.

Join us!

Be in touch if you are interested to be involved in our research.


Lab Alumni




Prachi obtained her PhD from the Kolling Institute, University of Sydney, with a focus on Parkinson's Disease genetics. In our lab, Prachi developed approaches for proteomics analysis of mouse tissues and identified potential biomarkers of disease.

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Amanda obtained her PhD from the Garvan Institute, University of New South Wales, focused on molecular studies of Alzheimer's Disease. Amanda continues to collaborate with us on projects focused on understanding MND onset and progression, and pre-clinical drug testing.

Winonah RiddeLL

Summer Student, Research Assistant (2017-2018)

Winonah joined the lab as a summer scholar, learning a variety of skills in biochemistry and histology, and continued with us to support our mouse model studies. 

Owen Watson

Rotation student, Research Assistant (2017-2018)

Owen joined the lab for a Master of Research rotation, and continued on using his histology skills to assist with projects analysing mouse brain and spinal cord tissues.

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DR Sheng Le


Sheng holds an MBBS and completed his PhD at Macquarie University focusing on neurocircuitry before joining our lab. He spearheaded pre-clinical MND/FTD mouse studies, and has now made the leap to advance his career in industry.




Hossai completed an ambitious bioinformatics and proteomics-based project focused on uncovering early disease mechanisms in a genetically modified mouse model of MND. She is now undertaking a PhD at the Australian Institute of Health Innovation, Macquarie University.

Dr Kelly Jacobs

Research Assistant (2017-2018)

Kelly assisted us in drug delivery and behavioural studies of mice, as a side-project while completing her PhD studies.

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Internship and winter/summer students

Yi kit Chui (winter 2019)

Dr Yasith Mathangasinghe (intern 2019)

Giulia Del Rosso (intern 2018)

Riley Woerner (winter 2018)

Gemma Howdle (summer 2017-18)