Research Supervisor Connect

Exploring how markers of brain structure and function relate to lifestyle factors and clinical trajectory in individuals ‘at risk’ for dementia


This study offers a unique and rare opportunity to work with the Healthy Brain Ageing Program at the Brain and Mind Centre. This one-of-a-kind clinic offer early diagnosis and intervention for older adults with concerns about their memory and/or thinking skills. To-date, the clinic has assessed almost 1000 patients. This project will offer access to a large volume of existing data as well as state-of-the-art neuroimaging data exploring brain structure and function. As a part of your candidature, you will learn to analyse MRI data and interpret analysis outcomes. In addition, you will assist with ongoing data collection in a multidisciplinary and collaborative team environment.


Dr Shantel Duffy.

Research location

Brain and Mind Centre - Imaging Physics

Program type



This project aims to explore the relationship between lifestyle factors (including measures of physical activity, diet and sleep), mood (including depressive and anxious symptoms) and cognition (including mood, memory, executive functioning and processing speed) in older adults ‘at risk' for dementia. In addition, we will explore whether markers of brain structure and function (assessed via magnetic resonance imaging) mediate these relationships both cross-sectionally and longitudinally.

Additional information

Although no scholarship is available for this project, highly competitive students may be eligible to apply for a Research Training Program scholarship. This PhD opportunity would be ideally suited to a candidate with a background in neuroimaging, or a strong background in allied health (e.g. exercise science/physiology, physiotherapy, dietetics, occupational therapy etc). Although desirable, a background in these areas is not essential and strong candidates applying from outside these fields will also be considered.

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Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is 2623