Dr Helen Murray

PhD, BSc(Hons)

Biography

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

Distinctions/Honours

  • 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)

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