Dr Helen Murray

PhD, BSc(Hons)


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

Postgraduate supervision

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)

Committees/Professional groups/Services

  • 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)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.