26 November 2020

Darren Clarke graduates and off to Montreal

A three-year post at the Université de Montréal as a post-doctoral fellow is the next exciting step in the career path of Dr Darren Clarke of the Perron Institute’s Brain Plasticity Research group.

Dr Clarke, who has been with the institute since April, recently graduated with a PhD at The University of Western Australia. He plans to arrive in Canada in February.

His PhD project investigated the effects of low intensity, non-invasive brain stimulation on astrocytes. These star-shaped cells orchestrate neural connections and play a key role in other regulatory functions within the central nervous system.

Dr Clarke’s scientific findings illustrated that repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation alters the astrocyte response in brain injury and experimental models. His results raise the possibility of targeting astrocyte functions in conditions such as stroke, depression and neurodegenerative conditions.

The Université de Montréal is one of Canada’s three leading university research hubs. At his new post, Dr Clarke will be working in the labs of Professor Richard Robitaille and Professor Jean-Claude Lacaille in the Department of Neurosciences.

Dr Clarke’s PhD supervisors were: Associate Professor Jenny Rodger (principal), MSWA Senior Research fellow and head of the Brain Plasticity Research group at the Perron Institute and UWA, and also from UWA, Dr Alex Tang, Emeritus Professor Alan Harvey and Dr Kristyn Bates.

Congratulations on your appointment, Darren!