Brain

Group Members

Chris Dayas – Pre-clinical Researcher

Professor Chris Dayas is Deputy Head of School Research, School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Newcastle (UoN). Prof. Days is internationally recognised in the fields of mood disorders, stress and addiction. His work has established links between stress pathways and striatal control of compulsive behaviour in the context of drug addiction. Prof. Dayas has built a local collaborative network of clinical researchers within the Hunter New England (HNE) health system, to develop new translational lines of research to create a mechanism to extend his discovery research findings to new clinical opportunities.

email: christopher.dayas@newcastle.edu.au
profile: http://www.newcastle.edu.au/profile/christopher-dayas
ph: 02 49

Michael Breakspear – Clinical Practitioner/Researcher

Professor Michael Breakspear is a professor in Psychology at UoN, with interests in computational neuroscience and translational neuroimaging. Prof. Breakspear studied medicine, philosophy and mathematics at the University of Sydney and worked at UNSW and QIMR Berghofer MRI before joining UoN and HMRI in 2019. In addition to his research, he is a practicing clinician in adult psychiatry, with interests in recovery-focussed treatment of mood disorders, psychosis, and addiction. Prof. Breakspear is internationally renowned for his contributions to dynamic models of large-scale brain activity, toolbox development, and detection of nonlinear dynamics in empirical data. His work in translational imaging addresses healthy ageing, dementia, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia, with a focus on connectomics and risk prediction.

email: michael.breakspear@newcastle.edu.au
ph:

Lizzie Manning – Pre-clinical Researcher

 Dr Lizzie Manning is a neuroscience research associate at the University of Newcastle. She recently completed >5 years postdoctoral training in the Translational Neuroscience Program in the department of psychiatry and the University of Pittsburgh (US), gaining expertise in advanced neuroscience approaches for dissecting the neural circuit basis of behavioural disturbances relevant to psychiatric disorders, with a particular focus on compulsive behaviour in obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Dr Manning aims to use these findings on the cell types and circuits that control behaviour to guide the development of targeted neuromodulatory strategies with improved efficacy over existing treatments.

email: lizzie.manning@newcastle.edu.au

profile: http://www.newcastle.edu.au/profile/lizzie-manning

ph: 02 49217857


email:  .@uon.edu.au
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email: .@newcastle.edu.au
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email: @uon.edu.au
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Research Focus

This program aims to understand the brain circuitry controlling motivation and compulsive behaviour. We use imaging techniques with single cell resolution in preclinical studies through to functional mapping of the human brain activity and computational modelling to understand the brain circuits underpinning these behaviours. By studying these pathways in individuals with neuropsychiatric conditions such as depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, addiction and schizophrenia, we aim to identify new neuromodulation strategies to improve patient outcomes.

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