Neuroplasticity in Memory & Addiction Group

About us


Our memories and the emotions they evoke not only allow us to adapt to our environment, but also help define our sense of self. Memory formation involves a rewiring of the brain, making or strengthening connections between some neurons and breaking or weakening connections between others.  Impaired or inappropriate memory formation underlies several cognitive disorders including dementias such as Alzheimer’s disease, post-traumatic stress-disorder, phobias, and addiction.  Our group investigates the cellular mechanisms of memory formation using a combination of electrophysiological recordings, live-cell fluorescent calcium imaging and genetic manipulations.  We aim to identify of novel mechanisms that modulate or preserve neuronal connections that may be translated into treatments for the above disorders as well as stroke and epilepsy. 

Current research themes (2016-17)

  1. Addiction associated neural plasticity
  2. The role of endoplasmic reticulum in neuronal calcium signaling
  3. Actin, Synaptic plasticity and Alzheimer's disease





  • Jenny Gunnersen, University of Melbourne
  • Pankaj Sah, Queensland Brain Institute, University of Queensland
  • John Disterhoft, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, USA
  • Dominic Cheng, The Johns Hopkins Department of Neurology, Baltimore, USA


  • Chanchanok Chaichim (PhD candidate)
  • Bowen Lim (Honours)
  • Gadiel Dumalo (Honours)
  • Seamus Frawley (ILP)