About the Speaker:
Professor Anthony Hannan is an NHMRC Principal Research Fellow and Head of the Epigenetics and Neural Plasticity Laboratory, Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, University of Melbourne. Prof. Hannan received his undergraduate training and PhD in neuroscience from the University of Sydney. He was then awarded a Nuffield Medical Fellowship at the University of Oxford, where he subsequently held other research positions before returning to Australia on an NHMRC RD Wright Career Development Fellowship to establish a laboratory at the Florey Institute. He subsequently won other fellowships and awards, including an ARC FT3 Future Fellowship, the British Council Eureka Prize, the International Society for Neurochemistry Young Lecturer Award and the Federation of European Biochemical Societies Anniversary Prize.
Prof. Hannan and colleagues provided the first demonstration in any genetic animal model that environmental stimulation can be therapeutic. This has led to new insights into gene-environment interactions in various brain disorders, including Huntington’s disease, dementia, depression, schizophrenia and autism spectrum disorders. His research team at the Florey explore how genes and the environment combine via experience-dependent plasticity in the healthy and diseased brain. Their research includes models of specific neurological and psychiatric disorders which involve cognitive and affective dysfunction, investigated at behavioural, cellular and molecular levels so as to identify pathogenic mechanisms and novel therapeutic targets.