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Hopwood Centre for Neurobiology

The Hopwood Centre for Neurobiology (HCN), formerly the Lysosomal Diseases Research Unit, is a world-class, highly successful research unit investigating the role and function of lysosomes in health and disease.

For more than 30 years we have been leaders in the biochemistry, cell biology and genetics of the lysosomes, delivered state-of-the-art diagnostics, and commercialised the first ever treatments for two lysosomal storage disorders.

We are taking advantage of our core strengths in lysosomal research to investigate the contribution of the endolysosomal network to various diseases, including certain inherited childhood disorders and, in particular, late-onset neurodegenerative conditions such as Parkinson’s Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease.

The Centre’s multidisciplinary and interactive research specialises in neurobiology, preclinical models of neurological diseases, organelle biology, central nervous system therapeutics, mass spectrometry, and confocal microscopy, as well as genome editing and induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technologies.

Lead researcher: Professor Christopher Proud

Research team

  • Associate Professor Pirjo Apaja 
  • Dr Kim Hemsley
  • Dr Tim Sargeant
  • Dr Marten Snel


  • Professor Bob Casson, Dr Glyn Chidlow - Institute of Ophthalmology, University of Adelaide
  • Professor Rob Richards, Dr Louise O’Keefe - Department of Genetics and Evolution Biology, University of Adelaide
  • Professor Lisa Butler, Associate Professor Cedric Bardy, Leonie Heilbronn, Ville-Petteri Mäkinen - South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute, Adelaide
  • Mr Jim Manavis - University of Adelaide 
  • Dr Rohan Teasdale - University of Queensland
  • Professor Sharad Kumar – University of South Australia
  • Dr Alessandro Fraldi - TIGEM, Naples, Italy 
  • Professor G Lukacs - McGill University, Montréal, Canada

Interested in undertaking a postgraduate research degree with us?

We offer exciting opportunities for researchers at the honours, masters and PhD levels. Our research degrees are open to students from a broad range of backgrounds, and range from basic sciences to clinical research. If you are interested in human health, consider furthering your research career with us.