Professor Nellie Georgiou-Karistianis, BSc (Hons), PhD
Professor Georgiou-Karistianis is the Lab Director. She is also Director of Research Degrees within the School of Psychology and Psychiatry and oversees the PhD and DPsych (Clinical Neuropsychology) and DPsych (Clinical Psychology) programs.
Her research priorities address three interrelated issues:
- Further understanding of the normally developing, functioning and aging brain via the use of disease models involving selective impairments;
- Further understanding the nature, signs, progress, assessment and management of particular neurodegenerative disorders; and
- Further understanding of two specific circuits/systems in the brain: cortico-striatal and cortico-cerebellar, respectively, in initiating and sequencing fine motor programs, and in accurately acquiring target endpoints in specific movement elements, and in various cognitive processes.
Professor Georgiou-Karistianis is the Principal Investigator of several funded projects undertaken in the lab, including research on Huntington's disease, Friedreich ataxia, and chronic pain.
Dr Melita Giummarra, BSc (Hons), PhD – Research Fellow
Dr Giummarra is a Postdoctoral NHMRC ECR Fellow within the Georgiou-Karistianis Lab. Melita’s research examines multisensory experiences, and the connection between self, body and others. Her research predominantly focuses on the social neuroscience of pain, and how pain is processed in others ("empathy for pain"). Melita is a chief investigator on the ARC-Linkage study - chronic pain following road trauma - investigating the biopsychosocial predictors and correlates of chronic pain following road trauma, with the aim of better understanding the neurobiological correlates of the multisensory experience of pain.
Dr Govinda Poudel, BE (Hons), PhD – Research Fellow
Dr Poudel is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow within the Georgiou-Karistianis Lab. With a background in neural engineering, Govinda’s research focuses on functional neuroimaging, particularly the development of advanced methods for analysis of fMRI and EEG data sets. Govinda is currently employed within the lab on the IMAGE-HD project and is also supported by the Life Sciences Computational Centre (LSCC).
Dr Ian Harding, BSc (Hons), PhD – Research Fellow
Dr. Ian Harding is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow within the Georgiou-Karistianis lab. He has a background in cognitive neuroscience, and uses functional neuroimaging techniques to research the biological basis of cognitive control and working memory in both health and disease. Ian is currently employed on the IMAGE-FRDA project, investigating the neural basis of cognitive dysfunction in Friedreich Ataxia
Mrs Krista Crawford, BA, GDip Sc
Mrs Crawford is a Laboratory Manager within the Georgiou-Karistianis Lab. Krista has a background in psychology and zoology.
Dr Juan Domínguez, B.Anthropology, PGDip, PhD – Research Fellow
Dr Domínguez is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow within the Georgiou-Karistianis Lab. With a background in neural anthropology, Juan’s research focuses on functional neuroimaging with an emphasis on neuroanthropology. Juan is currently employed on the IMAGE-HD project.
Ms Monique Stagnitti, BSc Neuroscience (Hons) – Research Assistant
Ms Stagnitti is a Research Assistant within the Georgiou-Karistianis Lab. With a background in psychology and neuroscience, Monique has attained multimodal neuroimaging experience with previous employment on an NHMRC funded project investigating brain changes in epilepsy via neuroimaging technologies. Monique is currently employed on the IMAGE-FRDA project.
Dr Liane Ioannou, BSc (Hons), PhD – Research Assistant
Dr Ioannou is a Postdoctoral Research Assistant within the Georgiou-Karistianis Lab. With a background in genetics and psychology, Liane’s research focuses on genetic screening for of inheritable diseases, namely the evaluation of carrier screening programs for autosomal recessive diseases. Liane is currently employed within the lab on the ARC-Linkage chronic pain following road trauma project.
Ms April Philpott, BBNSc (Hons) – DPsych Candidate (Clin Neuro)
Supervised by Prof Georgiou-Karistianis, in collaboration with Dr Tarrant Cummins, and Prof Paul Fitzgerald of the Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre, Ms Philpott is completing a DPsych (Clin Neuro). April uses transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) in combination with electroencephalography (EEG) to gain important insights into the nature of the inhibitory and excitatory processors in Huntington's disease and, through genetic analyses, to identify possible moderating factors that might explain the variability in symptoms.
Ms Shannon Driscoll, BPsych (Hons) - PhD Candidate
Under the supervision of Prof Georgiou-Karistianis and Dr Govinda Poudel, Ms Driscoll will be assessing longitudinal neuroimaging data in pre-symptomatic and symptomatic Huntington’s disease participants from the IMAGE-HD project to explore how structural and functional neurological changes correlate with cognitive and behavioral measures.
Anthony Tsay, BBiomed (Hons) – PhD Candidate
Supervised by Dr Giummarra, Dr Allen and Emeritus Prof Proske, Mr Tsay aims to explore the association between proprioceptive acuity in patients with chronic pain, to establish whether there is a deficit in proprioception in neuropathic pain sufferers, as well as examine fundamental properties about the proprioceptive system, including proprioceptive drift, sensory re-weighting and the retrieval of central representations of the body.
Ms Clare Kempnich
BPsych Sc (Hons) – DPsych Candidate (Clin Neuro)
Supervised co-jointly by Prof Stout and Prof Georgiou-Karistianis, Ms Kempnich is undertaking a DPsych (Clin Neuro) with a focus on emotion perception in Huntington's disease. The project will implement a multidimensional training program to address the social and emotional difficulties faced by patients and their families. The project hopes to improve the way in which these patients identify, interpret, and respond to emotional situations and aims to assess this improvement both behaviourally and functionally through electroencephalography (EEG) and Event Related Potentials (ERPs).
Ms Naznine Anwar
BSc (Hons), MS (Psyc), MPH - PhD Candidate.
Under the supervision of Prof Georgiou-Karistianis and Prof Cornish, Ms Naznine Anwar investigates whether gait patterns are consistent with basal ganglia or cerebellar dysfunction in patients with Huntington disease. It is expected that Ms Anwar’s project further characterizes the gait profile in per-symptomatic and symptomatic individuals with Huntington disease by quantifying gait features not previously studied via over GAITRite system.
Ms Jessica Despard, BSc, BBNSc (Hons) – PhD Candidate
Under the supervision of Prof Georgiou-Karistianis and Dr Matthew Mundy, Ms Jessica Despard aims to investigate the perceptual learning deficit in Huntington’s disease, in order to provide further understanding of the fundamental mechanisms of learning and memory. Moreover, this study will use neuroimaging techniques to characterise the nature of this deficit, and explore the impact of strategy implementation and neural compensation.
Mr Lincoln Tracy - PhD Candidate BBiomedSc(Hons), SpecCertCR(Neuro)
Supervised by Dr Giummarra, Professor Georgiou-Karistanis and Professor Stephen Gibson (of the National Aging Research Institute), Mr Tracy aims to explore the relationship between oxytocin and pain experience in individuals living with chronic pain, to establish whether this naturally occurring hormone can be utilised as an analgesic and anxiolytic treatment in chronic pain patients, as well as examining differences in the perception of, and reaction to, painful stimuli between healthy individuals and chronic pain sufferers. Lincoln is also involved with the ARC Linkage grant investigating chronic pain following road trauma.
Ms Katharine Baker, BPsySc (Hons) – Dpsych Candidate (Clin Neuro)
Katharine is undertaking a DPsych in Clinical Neuropsychology, supervised by Dr Giummarra and Prof Georgiou-Karistianis. With a background in psychology, neuroscience, and chronic pain research, her current work is focused on the impacts of pain on cognition, how this may relate to pain management, and ways in which cognitive functions might be strengthened.