Dr Helen Murray
Dr Helen Murray is a postdoctoral research fellow who holds a Health Education Trust Post-Doctoral Fellowship. She is currently based in Professor Maurice Curtis’ lab at the Centre for Brain Research and concurrently holds a non-clinical collaborator appointment in Dr. Alan Koretsky’s lab at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, USA.
Her research examines anatomical changes in neurodegenerative diseases using post-mortem human brain tissue. She has recently returned to New Zealand full-time to establish a research programme studying the pathology of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a neurodegenerative condition associated with repetitive head injury in sport. As captain of the New Zealand Ice Fernz – the New Zealand women’s ice hockey team – this research is closely aligned to her experience as an athlete and her expertise in human tissue anatomical research.
Her research utilises a novel tissue labelling technique called multiplex immunohistochemistry which achieves labelling of up to 100 proteins on a single piece of tissue. She has built a broad team of international and domestic collaborators to develop new analysis pipelines for this high-content anatomical data.
Her long-term vision is to develop the multiplex immunohistochemistry technique as a collaborative platform and the basis for her neuropathology research on chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
Her publication record can be found here
Research | Current
Neuropathology of repetitive sport-related head injury
- Investigating the neuropathology of chronic traumatic encephalopathy using multiplex immunohistochemistry.
- Collaborators: Professor Maurice Curtis, Distinguished Professor Sir Richard Faull, Associate Professor Michael Buckland (University of Sydney).
The human olfactory bulb in Alzheimer’s disease
- Examining the anatomy of the human olfactory bulb and in Alzheimer’s disease using multiplex immunohistochemistry and high field MRI.
- Collaborators: Professor Maurice Curtis, Associate Professor Miriam Scadeng, Dr Alan Koretsky (NIH), Dr Ted Usdin (NIH),
- Investigating the spread of olfactory-driven amyloid pathology in an aged mouse model.
- Collaborators: Dr Alan Koretsky (NIH), Dr Leo Belluscio (NIH)
Teaching | Current
BIOMED399 Neuroscience Capstone Mentor
Current PhD students:
- Blake Highet (PhD co-supervisor)
- Catherine Webb (PhD co-supervisor)
- James Wiseman (PhD co-supervisor)
Current Hons students:
- Khushi Kothari (BMedImag (Hons) primary supervisor)
Current and past summer students:
- 2021: Skylar Pollack
- HRC Emerging Researcher First Grant (2021)
- Neurological Foundation of New Zealand Flashes of Brilliance Image Competition Winner (2020)
- Centre for Brain Research Health Education Trust Post-Doctoral Fellowship (2020)
- Brain Research New Zealand Health Education Trust Post-Doctoral Fellowship (2017)
- Nomination for University of Auckland Best Doctoral Thesis Award (2017)
- Citation in the University of Auckland Dean of Graduate Studies Honours List (2017)
- University of Auckland Blues Award for Sport (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017)
- University of Auckland Blues Awards - Finalist for Sportswoman of the Year award (2016)
- HOPE Selwyn Foundation Scholarship in Ageing Research (2015)
- University of Auckland Doctoral Scholarship (2013)
- Centre for Brain Research (CBR) Research Advisory Committee
- Brain Research New Zealand Early Career Advisory Group
- Asia-Pacific Association for Neural Transplantation and Repair (APANTR) early career researcher board member
Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)
- Murray, H. C., Swanson, M. E. V., Dieriks, B. V., Turner, C., Faull, R. L. M., & Curtis, M. A. (2018). Neurochemical Characterization of PSA-NCAM+ Cells in the Human Brain and Phenotypic Quantification in Alzheimer's Disease Entorhinal Cortex. Neuroscience, 372, 289-303. 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2017.12.019
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Richard Faull, Victor Dieriks, Maurice Curtis, Molly Swanson
- Swanson, M. E. V., Murray, H. C., Oliver, M. H., Waldvogel, H. J., Firth, E. C., & Curtis, M. A. (2017). Imposed running exercise does not alter cell proliferation in the neurogenic niches of young lambs. Journal of Animal Science, 95 (10), 4381-4390. 10.2527/jas2017.1710
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Elwyn Firth, Mark Oliver, Henry Waldvogel, Maurice Curtis, Molly Swanson
- Murray, H. C., Low, V. F., Swanson, M. E. V., Dieriks, B. V., Turner, C., Faull, R. L. M., & Curtis, M. A. (2016). Distribution of PSA-NCAM in normal, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease human brain. Neuroscience, 330, 359-375. 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2016.06.003
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Maurice Curtis, Richard Faull, Victor Dieriks, Molly Swanson, Victoria Low