Neurogenetics Group

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

Team NEURO studies genetic and 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. Team NEURO has precision genomics and functional genomics capabilities to investigate a broad range of genetic causes as well as underlying molecular mechanisms of a diverse set of genetic alterations using patient-derived cells, stem cells, animal models or computational biology tools.

Team NEURO has achieved major goals in the field of genetics of NDDs. We identified the first gene for non-syndromic intellectual disability, many epilepsy genes, we pioneered systematic chromosome and later genome-wide sequencing and have rewritten the understanding of the causes of cerebral palsies as partly genetic. We have discovered, or contributed to the discovery of more than 250 disease genes and uncovered novel biological pathways essential for normal brain function.

Team NEURO investigates coding, non-coding and regulatory DNA variation as well as epigenetics factors (epi phenotypes) involved. Our genetic and mechanistic discoveries are subsequently scrutinised in cell and animal models for the opportunities for intervention.

Our key research strengths are:

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

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

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  • Lead researcher

    Professor Jozef Gecz

    Professor Jozef Gecz

    Professor Jozef Gecz is an NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellow and Professor of Human Genetics at the University of Adelaide. He is the founding Head of the Neurogenetics Research Program located at the Adelaide Medical School. Professor Gecz’s research focuses on neurodevelopmental disease gene identification, functional characterisation and cellular and animal modelling. The overarching aim of Team NEURO is to prevent childhood disability through precise and early diagnosis, refined understanding of disease mechanisms and as such enable better patient management and development of precision therapies.

  • Research team

    Neurobiology of epilepsy

    Research team

    Role

    Dr Mark Corbett

    Researcher

    Thessa Kroes

    Research support

    Rebekah De Nys

    PhD candidate

    Tarin Ritchie

    Hons candidate

    Alexis Martin

    Hons candidate

    Intellectual disability – cellular & molecular biology

    Research team

    Role

    Dr Raman Sharma

    Researcher

    Dr Lachlan Jolly

    Researcher

    Alison Gardner

    Research support

    Renee Carroll

    Research support

    Rudrarup Bhattacharjee

    PhD candidate

    Thomas Litster

    PhD candidate

    Emmylou Nicolas

    MSc candidate

     

    Cerebral palsy research (co-lead with Emeritus Professor Alastair MacLennan)

    Research team

    Role

    Dr Clare van Eyk

    Researcher

    Dr Jesia Berry

    Researcher

    Dani Fornarino

    Research support

    Kelly Harper 

    Research support

    Sayaka Kayumi

    PhD candidate

    Nandini Sandran

    PhD candidate

    Urwah Nawaz

    PhD candidate

    Yana Wilson

    PhD candidate external

  • Partnerships

    • Professors Berkovic and Scheffer – Epilepsy, University of Melbourne, Australia
    • Professor Eichler - Autism Spectrum Intellectual Disability (ASID), USA
    • A/Professor Voineagu – Single Cell Gene Expression, UNSW, Sydney, Australia
    • Professor Christodoulou – Genetics of Intellectual Disability, MCRI, Melbourne, Australia
    • Drs Field and Palmer – Genetics of Learning Disability (GOLD), Sydney, Australia
    • Professor Kalscheuer – Intellectual disability, Max Planck, Berlin, Germany
    • Dr Bardoni – Intellectual disability, Nice, France
    • Dr Jarvella – Epilepsy, Helsinki, Finland
    • Professors Boycott and Picketts – University of Ottawa, Canada
    • Professor Depienne – Epilepsy, Essen, Germany
    • Professor Wilkinson - University of California, San Diego, USA
    • Professor DeVries – Intellectual disability, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
    • A/Prof Michael Fahey – Monash University, Australia
  • Related areas of research

Interested in a postgraduate research degree?

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