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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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Arc Requires PSD95 for Assembly into Postsynaptic Complexes Involved with Neural Dysfunction and Intelligence

Journal

Cell Reports

Volume

21

Begin Page

679

Date

17/10/N/A

Author(s)

E Fernández, MO Collins, RAW Frank, F Zhu, MV Kopanitsa, J Nithianantharajah, SA Lemprière, D Fricker, KA Elsegood, CL McLaughlin, MDR Croning, C Mclean, JD Armstrong, WD Hill, IJ Deary, G Cencelli, C Bagni, M Fromer, SM Purcell, AJ Pocklington, JS Choudhary, NH Komiyama, SGN Grant
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

N/A

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/N/A

Author(s)

Jaime Lee, Matthew R Hudson, Terence J O'Brien, Jess Nithianantharajah, Nigel C Jones
Tracing functional circuits using c-Fos regulated expression of marker genes targeted to neuronal projections

Journal

Frontiers In Bioscience

Volume

9

Begin Page

40

Date

N/A

Author(s)

M MURPHY, U GREFERATH, N NAG, J NITHIANANTHARAJAH, YM WILSON
Environmental enrichment results in cortical and subcortical changes in levels of synaptophysin and PSD-95 proteins

Journal

Neurobiology Of Learning And Memory

Volume

81

Begin Page

200

Date

N/A

Author(s)

J NITHIANANTHARAJAH, H LEVIS, M MURPHY
Gene-Environment interactions modulating cognitive function and molecular correlates of synaptic plasticity in Huntington's Disease transgenic mice

Journal

Neurobiology Of Disease

Volume

29

Begin Page

490

Date

N/A

Author(s)

J Nithianantharajah, C Barkus, M MURPHY, AJ Hannan
Auditory specific fear conditioning results in increased levels of synaptophysin in the basolateral amygdala

Journal

Neurobiology Of Learning And Memory

Volume

90

Begin Page

36

Date

N/A

Author(s)

J Nithianantharajah, M MURPHY
Sex-specific behavioural effects of environmental enrichment in a transgenic mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Journal

European Journal Of Neuroscience

Volume

28

Begin Page

717

Date

N/A

Author(s)

NC STAM, J NITHIANANTHARAJARAH, M HOWARD, J ATKIN, S Cheema, AJ HANNAN
New translational assays for preclinical modelling of cognition in schizophrenia: The touchscreen testing method for mice and rats

Journal

Neuropharmacology

Volume

62

Begin Page

1191

Date

1/3/N/A

Author(s)

TJ Bussey, A Holmes, L Lyon, AC Mar, KAL McAllister, J Nithianantharajah, CA Oomen, LM Saksida
TNiK is required for postsynaptic and nuclear signaling pathways and cognitive function

Journal

Journal Of Neuroscience

Volume

32

Begin Page

13987

Date

3/10/N/A

Author(s)

MP Coba, NH Komiyama, J Nithianantharajah, MV Kopanitsa, T Indersmitten, NG Skene, EJ Tuck, DG Fricker, KA Elsegood, LE Stanford, NO Afinowi, LM Saksida, TJ Bussey, TJ O'Dell, SGN Grant
Evolution of GluN2A/B cytoplasmic domains diversified vertebrate synaptic plasticity and behavior

Journal

Nature Neuroscience

Volume

16

Begin Page

25

Date

1/1/N/A

Author(s)

TJ Ryan, MV Kopanitsa, T Indersmitten, J Nithianantharajah, NO Afinowi, C Pettit, LE Stanford, R Sprengel, LM Saksida, TJ Bussey, TJ O'Dell, SGN Grant, NH Komiyama
Evolution of GluN2A/B cytoplasmic domains diversified vertebrate synaptic plasticity and behavior

Journal

Nature Neuroscience

Volume

16

Begin Page

25

Date

1/1/N/A

Author(s)

TJ Ryan, MV Kopanitsa, T Indersmitten, J Nithianantharajah, NO Afinowi, C Pettit, LE Stanford, R Sprengel, LM Saksida, TJ Bussey, TJ O'Dell, SGN Grant, NH Komiyama
Synaptic scaffold evolution generated components of vertebrate cognitive complexity

Journal

Nature Neuroscience

Volume

16

Begin Page

16

Date

1/1/N/A

Author(s)

J Nithianantharajah, NH Komiyama, A McKechanie, M Johnstone, DH Blackwood, DS Clair, RD Emes, LN Van De Lagemaat, LM Saksida, TJ Bussey, SGN Grant
Cognitive components in mice and humans: Combining genetics and touchscreens for medical translation

Journal

Neurobiology Of Learning And Memory

Volume

105

Begin Page

13

Date

1/10/N/A

Author(s)

J Nithianantharajah, SGN Grant
Molecular mediators, environmental modulators and behavioural endophenotypes in mouse models of neurodegenerative diseases

Journal

Journal Of Neurochemistry

Volume

110

Begin Page

63

Date

1/7/N/A

Author(s)

TYC Pang, MS Zajac, X Du, M Ransome, T Renoir, J Nithianantharajah, AJ Hannan
MOLECULAR MEDIATORS, ENVIRONMENTAL MODULATORS AND EXPERIENCE-DEPENDENT PLASTICITY IN MOUSE MODELS OF BRAIN DISORDERS

Journal

Journal Of Neurochemistry

Volume

115

Begin Page

12

Date

1/10/N/A

Author(s)

TYC Pang, T Renoir, MS Zajac, EL Burrows, X Du, M Ransome, G Chan, A Argyropoulos, C Mo, E Manning, CE McOmish, L Gray, J Nithianantharajah, AJ Hannan
Gene-environment interactions and the pathogenesis of behavioural dysfunction in Huntington's disease mice

Journal

Neuroscience Research

Volume

55

Begin Page

S38

Date

1/1/N/A

Author(s)

Anthony J Hannan, Terence YC Pang, Nathan C Stam, Michelle Zajac, Christopher Barkus, Monique L Howard, Jess Nithianantharajah
Differential effects of voluntary physical exercise on behavioral and brain-derived neurotrophic factor expression deficits in Huntington's disease transgenic mice

Journal

Neuroscience

Volume

141

Begin Page

569

Date

1/1/N/A

Author(s)

TYC Pang, NC Stam, J Nithianantharajah, ML Howard, AJ Hannan
Enriched environments, experience-dependent plasticity and disorders of the nervous system

Journal

Nature Reviews Neuroscience

Volume

7

Begin Page

697

Date

1/9/N/A

Author(s)

Jess Nithianantharajah, Anthony J Hannan
Dynamic mutations as digital genetic modulators of brain development, function and dysfunction

Journal

Bioessays

Volume

29

Begin Page

525

Date

1/6/N/A

Author(s)

Jess Nithianantharajah, Anthony J Hannan
Mechanisms mediating brain and cognitive reserve: Experience-dependent neuroprotection and functional compensation in animal models of neurodegenerative diseases

Journal

Progress In Neuro-psychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry

Volume

35

Begin Page

331

Date

30/3/N/A

Author(s)

Jess Nithianantharajah, Anthony J Hannan
Bridging the translational divide: identical cognitive touchscreen testing in mice and humans carrying mutations in a disease-relevant homologous gene

Journal

Scientific Reports

Volume

5

Begin Page

Date

1/10/N/A

Author(s)

J Nithianantharajah, AG McKechanie, TJ Stewart, M Johnstone, DH Blackwood, D St Clair, SGN Grant, TJ Bussey, LM Saksida
Retinal dysfunction, photoreceptor protein dysregulation and neuronal remodelling in the R6/1 mouse model of Huntington's disease.

Journal

Neurobiol Dis

Volume

45

Begin Page

887

Date

3/N/A

Author(s)

Abrez Hussain Batcha, Una Greferath, Andrew I Jobling, Kirstan A Vessey, Michelle M Ward, Jess Nithianantharajah, Anthony J Hannan, Michael Kalloniatis, Erica L Fletcher
Modeling Brain Reserve: Experience-Dependent Neuronal Plasticity in Healthy and Huntington's Disease Transgenic Mice

Journal

American Journal Of Geriatric Psychiatry

Volume

17

Begin Page

196

Date

N/A

Author(s)

J NITHIANANTHARAJAH, C BARKUS, N VIJIARATNAM, Clement, A HANNAN

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