Neurodevelopmental Research

The Neurodevelopmental Research Group is investigating the clinical, biochemical and genetic markers that predict adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes. In particular, the group is focussed on the role of nutrient sulphate in brain development. Magnesium sulphate has been found to work as a preventative treatment for cerebral palsy in preterm infants when administered to women in preterm labour. This treatment bolsters the neonate’s circulating sulphate level, and without it, preterm infants (born < 32 weeks gestation) rapidly become sulphate deficient. Having recruited more than 1,600 preterm infants, our team is currently testing the hypothesis that neonatal sulphate deficiency increases the risk of cerebral palsy.

Our research is also investigating the genetic and metabolic factors associated with autism using data and samples from the Australian Autism Biobank, as well as the genetics of non-syndromic intellectual disability.

Group members

  • Dr Elizabeth Hurrion, PhD Student
  • Mr Mark Williams, PhD student
  • Ms Taylor Clarke, Honours student
  • Ms Judith Macey, Research Nurse
  • Ms Page Massey, Research Assistant
  • Ms Kylee Flett, Research Assistant

Group Leaders