Neuroepidemiology Group

Our group focuses on public health and neuroscience. We’re particularly interested in brain conditions that are becoming increasingly more common. These conditions include autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and multiple sclerosis. We aim to generate new knowledge to allow better prevention or treatment of these conditions.

Research interests

  • Neurodevelopment
  • Epidemiology
  • Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Multiple sclerosis

  • Analytical epidemiology
  • Multi-omics bioinformatics
  • Neuroscience laboratory work

About our research

Our goal is to use population-based study data to gain a better understanding of conditions that affect the brain and spinal cord, and to identify points of intervention to reduce their risk and progression.

Research team

Research team head

Team members

Research fellows

Research and technical staff

  • Alex Eisner
  • Ellen Morwitch
  • Sarah Thomson
  • Alex Gruen
  • Dhaval Parikh
  • Max Reissman

PhD students

  • Alicia Bjorksten
  • Samuel Tanner
  • Kristina Vacy
  • Lada Staskova

Selected publications

  • Chapman C, Lucas RM, Ponsonby A-L, Taylor B and Ausimmune Investigator Group (2022), ‘Predictors of progression from a first demyelinating event to clinically definite multiple sclerosis’, Brain Communications, 4(4):fcac181, doi:10.1093/braincomms/fcac181
  • ‌Thomson S, Drummond K, O’Hely M, Symeonides C, Chandran C, Mansell T, Saffery R, Sly P, Mueller J, Vuillermin P and Ponsonby A-L (2023), ‘Increased maternal non-oxidative energy metabolism mediates association between prenatal di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) exposure and offspring autism spectrum disorder symptoms in early life: a birth cohort study’, Environment International, 171:107678, doi:10.1016/j.envint.2022.107678
  • Ponsonby A-L (2021), ‘Reflection on modern methods: building causal evidence within high-dimensional molecular epidemiological studies of moderate size’, International Journal of Epidemiology, doi:10.1093/ije/dyaa174
  • Tanner S, Thomson S, Drummond K, O’Hely M, Symeonides C, Mansell T, Saffery R, Sly PD, Collier F, Burgner D, Sugeng EJ, Dwyer T, Vuillermin P and Ponsonby A-L (2022), ‘A pathway-based genetic score for oxidative stress: an indicator of host vulnerability to phthalate-associated adverse neurodevelopment’, Antioxidants, 11(4):659, doi:10.3390/antiox11040659
  • Pham C, Bekkering S, O’Hely M, Burgner D, Thomson S, Vuillermin P, Collier F, Marx W, Mansell T, Symeonides C, Sly PD, Tang MLK, Saffery R and Ponsonby A-L (2022), ‘Infant inflammation predicts childhood emotional and behavioral problems and partially mediates socioeconomic disadvantage’, Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 104:83–94, doi:10.1016/j.bbi.2022.05.011

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