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Dr Jess Nithianantharajah BSc (Hons) PhD

Laboratory Head, Synapse Biology and Cognition Laboratory — Behavioural Neuroscience

Dr. Jess Nithianantharajah is an Australian Research Council Future Fellow and heads the Synapse Biology and Cognition laboratory within the Division of Behavioural Neuroscience at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health. She completed her doctoral thesis in behavioural neuroscience at the University of Melbourne examining synaptic changes following learning and experience and commenced postdoctoral training at the Howard Florey Institute to further investigate gene-environment interactions modulating experience-dependent synaptic plasticity. In 2008, Dr. Nithianantharajah was recruited as a postdoctoral fellow by Prof. Seth Grant at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Cambridge, UK. During this time, she held a joint appointment at the University of Cambridge working with Prof. Tim Bussey and Dr. Lisa Saksida on the development of the novel rodent touchscreen cognitive tests - an innovative behavioural tool for mice that has advanced how we model complex learning and mental processes in animals. Employing the rodent touchscreen assays to probe distinct cognitive components, Dr. Nithianantharajah’s recent work has provided the first evidence of dissecting the cognitive repertoire in mice to show that these cognitive components are differentially regulated by a family of postsynaptic scaffold proteins, providing novel insights into the evolution of cognition. Moreover, her research has been the first to showcase the translational capacity of the touchscreens in assessing cognition in mice and humans carrying mutations in the same gene, highlighting the clinical relevance of this innovative method. She relocated in 2011 to the University of Edinburgh and in 2014, was recruited back to Melbourne to the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health as an Independent group leader. Dr. Nithianantharajah’s research interests lie in understanding the role of synaptic genes in cognition and disease.

Research Papers

Listed below are Dr Jess Nithianantharajah's most recent publications.

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Using Animal Models to Study the Role of the Gut-Brain Axis in Autism.

Journal

Curr Dev Disord Rep

Volume

4

Begin Page

28

Date

2017

Author(s)

Jess Nithianantharajah, Gayathri K Balasuriya, Ashley E Franks, Elisa L Hill-Yardin
LOCAL NMDA RECEPTOR HYPOFUNCTION EVOKES GENERALIZED EFFECTS ON GAMMA AND HIGH-FREQUENCY OSCILLATIONS AND BEHAVIOR

Journal

Neuroscience

Volume

358

Begin Page

124

Date

1/9/2017

Author(s)

Jaime Lee, Matthew R Hudson, Terence J O'Brien, Jess Nithianantharajah, Nigel C Jones

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