Neurological Foundation Philip Wrightson Postdoctoral Fellowship


Hayley MacDonald
University of Auckland

Ms MacDonald will undertake her Neurological Foundation Philip Wrightson Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom, and will be supervised by Dr Ned Jenkinson. Dr Jenkinson has spent his career investigating how the brain controls movement, and has extensive research experience in positions at Vanderbilt University in the United States and at the University of Oxford.

Following the completion of her fellowship Ms MacDonald plans to return to New Zealand and integrate the skills and knowledge gained overseas with her current experience, to advance her research career in clinical neuroscience.

Memory encoding and beta de-synchronisation in Parkinson’s disease

Does excessive brain activity contribute to memory deficits in Parkinson’s disease?

Although Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a movement disorder, there is increasing awareness of significant non-motor (non-movement) burdens experienced by patients. Excessively synchronised brain activity is linked to some motor symptoms of PD, however less is known about how this brain activity contributes to the non-motor symptoms. This project aims to shed new light on the relationship between hyper-synchronised brain activity and the memory deficits experienced in PD. Establishing that such a relationship exists will not only increase our understanding of the neurobiology underpinning PD symptoms, but will pave the way to addressing memory deficits by applying techniques shown to normalise brain activity.