Melinda Fitzgerald is Professor of Neurotrauma and Deputy Director of the Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute, Curtin University.
Jointly appointed by the Perron Institute for Neurological and Translational Science, and located at the new Sarich Neuroscience Research Institute. She is Chair of the Expert Advisory Panel of the Mission for Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and will be inaugural CEO of Vision TBI, a public benevolent institute being incorporated to support and enhance the work of the Mission for TBI.
Professor Fitzgerald leads a team of 12 researchers and post-graduate students in research focused around understanding and preventing the loss of function that occurs following neurotrauma. She uses innovative techniques to understand changes to key biochemical, cellular and structural components of nerves following injury and assesses treatment strategies including nanotechnologies and combinatorial pharmacotherapeutics. She conducts collaborative clinical trials designed to predict outcomes following mild traumatic brain injury, leading towards early intervention treatment strategies.
Professor Fitzgerald has published over 85 scientific papers, including in discipline leading journals such as J Neuroscience, Nature Nano, ACS Nano, and Biomaterials. She is a Handling Editor for the Journal of Neurochemistry, the Australian representative for the Asia Pacific Regional Committee for IBRO and serves on NHMRC and MS Australia grant review panels as well as a range of scientific advisory committees and steering groups.
Professor Fitzgerald’s research goal is to improve outcomes for patients who have experienced traumatic injury to their central nervous system. She leads her pre-clinical research team in studies to understand how damage spreads following neurotrauma, and uses findings from these fundamental studies to design and test treatment strategies. She is working with her collaborators and clinical research team to facilitate translation of her pre-clinical findings, focussing on prediction of persisting post-concussion symptoms, in order to identify suitable patients for treatment.