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Neurogenetics Group

The vision of the Neurogenetics Group is to improve the health of children and their families living with neurodevelopmental disabilities (NDD).

The NEURO Group studies primarily genetic and also epigenetic origins of intellectual disabilities, autisms, epilepsies and cerebral palsies, which affect up to one in seven children world-wide.

The identification of the genetic etiology of these NDDs is the first step in the journey to understand the underlying, complex neurobiology of brain development and function. The NEURO Group has built, in addition to the precision genomics capability also functional genomics capacity to investigate molecular mechanisms of genetic mutations in cell, patient cells and stem cells, based systems and animal models.

The NEURO Group has made great leaps in the field of NDDs. We identified the first gene for non-syndromic intellectual disability, many epilepsy genes and performed the first genomic study in cerebral palsies. We have discovered, or contributed to the discovery of, more than 200 disease genes and uncovered novel biological pathways essential for normal brain function. 

The NEURO Group is also interested in non-coding and regulatory mutations as well as epigenetics factors causing NDDs. Our gene and mechanism discoveries across various types of neurodevelopmental disabilities point to likely common pathways for precision interventions. 

Our key research strengths are:

  • genomics and bioinformatics
  • molecular mechanisms of neurodevelopmental disabilities
  • cellular and molecular neuroscience 
  • animal models.

Our research is complemented by many national and international, clinical and basic research collaborators. 

Lead researcher: Professor Jozef Gecz

Research team

Neurobiology of epilepsy
Research support
Intellectual disability – cellular neurobiology
  • Deepti Domingo - PhD candidate
  • Debrah Renders - PhD candidate
Cerebral palsy research  (co-lead with Emeritus Professor Alastair MacLennan)
  • Sayaka Kayumi – PhD candidate
  • Khan Pham – Honours student

Research support
Childhood disability prevention


  • Professors Berkovic and Scheffer – Epilepsy, University of Melbourne, AU
  • Professor Eichler - Autism Spectrum Intellectual Disability (ASID), USA
  • Professor Geschwind -– Epilepsy, UCLA, Los Angeles, USA
  • Drs Field and Palmer – GOLD, Sydney, AU
  • Professor Kruer – Cerebral Palsy (ICPGC), Phoenix Arizona, USA
  • Professor Kalscheuer – Intellectual disability, Max Planck, Berlin, Germany
  • Dr Bardoni – Intellectual disability, Nice, France
  • Dr Jarvella – Epilepsy, Helsinki, Finland
  • Professor Depienne – Epilepsy, Essen, Germany
  • IGOLD (International Genetics of Learning Disability) - Professor Schwartz, Greenwood Genetics Centre, South Carolina, USA; Dr Raymond, Cambridge, UK
  • Professor Wilkinson - University of California, San Diego, United States of America USA
  • Professor DeVries – Intellectual disability, Nijmegen, The Netherlands

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.