As a neurobiologist Alison has a long-standing interest in the plasticity of neural circuitry in the brain. Her current research is focused on live imaging of brain circuitry using 2 photon microscopy to directly visualize synaptic connections in the cerebral cortex in a range of disease models. This extends to gross structural rearrangements in response to injury, aging and neurodegenerative diseases as well as at the synaptic level of individual connections between brain cells. Alison's current interests are in exploring non-invasive therapeutic approaches to restore lost connectivity.
As an educator, Alison aims to demystify advanced, scientific literature, and to present it in relevant and accessible formats so that it can be understood and applied in the context of understanding dementia and providing dementia care.
Ramon y Cajal
Words of Strength
Inspire others to create change
In the absence of a cure on the horizon, we need to focus on enhancing quality care for people living with dementia, and in conducting large scale, coordinated programs targeting dementia prevention at a global level.
As a neurobiologist, Alison is investigating how to therapeutically target lost brain connectivity in dementia. As an educator, she translates the scientific literature into accessible and meaningful education about the cause, care and prevention of dementia.
As an Atlantic Fellow, Alison hopes to enhance her understanding of dementia and to be part of an international effort driving positive change in brain health and education to mitigate the impact of dementia across the globe.
The aged care workforce is in crisis—low salaries, high turnover and insufficient regulation of skills and knowledge when it comes to understanding dementia and best practice in dementia care—better education is key to enhancing quality care.
Alison completed her PhD in developmental neuroscience at the University of Melbourne (Australia) in 2004. She undertook postdoctoral fellowships at the Karolinska Institute (Stockholm, Sweden) and Imperial College (London, United Kingdom) before taking up an academic position in the Tasmanian School of Medicine at the University of Tasmania in Hobart, Australia.
In 2014 she took up a leadership position in the Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre where she is currently an Associate Professor. In this role she has oversight of a suite of online dementia education programs that reach thousands of people each year. Programs are purposely designed for accessibility, and national and global reach to drive change in our collective understanding of dementia.