Fuelling science’s future

The Florey's researchers in a lab

Our early- to mid-career researchers are already delivering high-impact, world-class research to improve the diagnosis and treatments of brain and mental health conditions globally.

Here are just a few of The Florey’s rising stars.

Dr Ashenafi Betrie

Translational Neurodegeneration Group, Dementia Mission and Systems Neuroscience Theme

Dr Ashenafi Betrie completed his PhD in cardiovascular pharmacology. He is interested in the roles metals, especially zinc, play in the vascular system.

His work with dementia experts at The Florey focuses on understanding the link between the cardiovascular system and neurodegeneration.

“We found that cellular zinc is an important regulator of blood vessel calibre, determining how much blood vessels contract and relax.”

Dr Betrie is now finding practical applications for this discovery.

“I’m currently working with Associate Professor Yugeesh Lankadeva, to translate our discovery into the clinic. I would really like to see where this discovery takes me and understand how this can lead to improving cardiovascular health.”

Dr Ashenafi Betrie
Dr Ashenafi Betrie

Dr Samaneh Mirzaei

Neuroinflammation Group, Protect and Repair Mission

Dr Samaneh Mirzaei’s study in biomedical engineering, and her passion for improving healthcare outcomes through innovative solutions, led her to pursue a career in neural tissue engineering.

“The Florey has provided a dynamic environment where I can expand my professional network in the field. My time here has been rewarding, with significant milestones achieved in my research.”

Dr Mirzaei’s primary research interest is exploring the link between the glymphatic system and neuroinflammation across ALS-FTD disease spectrum. She is chair of Florey Postdoctoral Association (FPA).

“I am committed to advancing my research in this field and exploring innovative approaches for neurodegenerative disease management. Additionally, I wish to contribute to collaborative efforts aimed at translating research findings into clinical applications for improved patient outcomes.”


Dr Samaneh Mirzaei

Dr Muthmainah

Hormones in Psychiatry Group, Mental Health Mission

Dr Muthmainah completed her training as a medical doctor in Indonesia. As a medical student, she was amazed by the complexity of the brain and pursued her passion in neuroscience by completing her PhD at The Florey.

“Being part of the Florey has been one of the best moments in my life. The academic atmosphere, and scientific and personal support that I got during my study really helped me shape my future. I have grown so much as a person and a scientist here.”

“Now that I am back in Indonesia, I follow an academic research career pathway and I hope to contribute to the development of neuroscience research in my home country.”

Dr Muthmainah with PhD supervisors Andrea Gogos and Robyn Brown
Dr Muthmainah with her PhD supervisors Dr Andrea Gogos (left) and Dr Robyn Brown (right)

Dr Carolina Gubert

Epigenetics and Neural Plasticity Group, Mental Health Mission

Dr Carolina Gubert’s family history has been a driving force in her pursuit of new discoveries for brain and mental health conditions.

“The complexity of the brain fascinated me, and still does, and since then I have been trying to better understand its function and dysfunction.”

Dr Gubert has led the microbiota-gut-brain axis team of the Epigenetics and Neural Plasticity Group since 2018.

“I’ve found myself in an enriching and supportive environment that has allowed me to flourish.”

Dr Carolina Gubert
Dr Carolina Gubert

Dr Taide Wang

Motor Neurone Disease Group, Protect and Repair Mission

Dr Taide Wang’s PhD involved investigating how motor neurons degenerate in the context of motor neurone disease.

“I’ve always had an interest in how drugs affected the central nervous system. Currently I’m testing various therapeutic treatments to inhibit ferroptosis and hope to advance new strategies to treat MND patients.”

Dr Wang says his colleagues have played a vital role in his career progression.

“A huge contribution to my success throughout my career was being under the guidance of Professor Bradley Turner, and also having the support from all the research assistants in the Turner Laboratory.”

Dr Taide Wang
Dr Taide Wang

Media contact

Kathryn Powley

Media and Communications Manager

P +61 456 666 271
E [email protected]