Dr Rachel McQuade is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Digestive Physiology and Nutrition Laboratory at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health. 

Dr McQuade completed her PhD in 2017 studying chemotherapy-induced enteric neurotoxicity and neuroprotection. Her work was amongst the first in the world to investigate the relationship between chemotherapy-induced enteric neuropathy and gut dysfunction, highlighting for the first time the enteric nervous system as a therapeutic target to alleviate the debilitating side-effects of chemotherapy. 

Dr McQuade undertook her first postdoctoral position at Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (MIPS) where she worked as a lead investigator in an academic-industry alliance investigating the mechanisms of novel compounds and validating drug targets in various models of GI disease and inflammation.

Since moving to the Florey in 2018, Dr McQuade’s research has aimed to explore the relationship between gut and brain impairment in Parkinson’s disease. Her work utilises mouse models of Parkinson's disease to systematically investigate structural and functional deterioration throughout the nervous system and seeks to understand the temporal and causal relations between development of enteric nervous system injury, central nervous system injury, motor symptoms and gut dysfunction. Dr McQuade’s goal is to determine to role of the gut in PD pathogenesis and progression and develop improved therapies/interventions that can be rapidly translated to improve clinical outcomes for Parkinson’s disease patients.


Key Collaborators:

• Dr Laura Edgington-Mitchell, Bio21

• A/Prof David Finkelstein, Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health

• A/Prof Kulmira Nurgali, Western centre for Health Research and Education

• Dr Holly Chinnery, University of Melbourne 

  • Location

    Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health
    30 Royal Parade


Awards and achievements

Grants and Fellowships:

• Jack Brockhoff Early Career Research Grant, CIA; $99,869 (2019-2021)

• Early-Mid Career Collaborative Grant, CIA; $12,500, (2018-2019)

• John Collier Postdoctoral Travel Scholarship, CIA; $5,000 (2019)

• Victoria University Publication Grant, CIA; $4,200 (2017)



• Department of Anatomy & Neuroscience Travel Award, University of Melbourne (2019)

• Poster of Excellence, New Zealand Society of Gastroenterology (2017)

• Postgraduate Travel Award, College of Health & Biomedicine (2016)

• Victoria University Outstanding PhD Researcher (2014) 

Research Papers

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Showing 10 of 15. VIEW ALL

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