Joanne Nash

Joanne Nash

Research Interests: 


We tease apart the neurobiological mechanisms regulating human behaviour.
Our goal is to optimise the lives of people diagnosed with syndromes of the central nervous system .

In neurons, particularly synapses, the harmony of protein-protein interactions, and their surrounding cytoplasm and signalling molecules regulates homeostasis, and thus neuronal health.  We study how key neuronal proteins control brain function in healthy and diseased states.  Our goal is to understand how the basal ganglia controls human behaviour.  Ultimately, our studies will result in better treatment outcomes for diseases of the basal ganglia.

We combine the most clinically and physiologically relevant behavioural, imaging and electrophysiological techniques with genetic engineering in vivo, to tease apart molecular processes regulating neurotransmission, synaptic plasticity, homeostasis, and cellular metabolism. 

This work has two fundamental goals:

  1. To understand how the basal ganglia controls human behaviour
  2. To optimise treatment outcomes of people with CNS disorders


Current Research

Understanding the role of key synaptic proteins in controlling neurotransmission and synaptic plasticity in the basal ganglia in health and disease.

The role of mitochondria in neurodegenerative diseases.

Decoding the pathological mechanisms underpinning Parkinson’s disease.

Novel treatment strategies for diseases, disorders and syndromes of the CNS.



  • Genetic engineering in vivo and in vitro
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Neurodevelopment
  • Neuroprotection
  • Neurorestoration
  • Behavioural assessment
  • Electrophysiology
  • Synaptic plasticity
  • Imaging
  • Novel treatment strategies
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Striatum
  • Substantia nigra pars compacta
  • Mitochondria
  • Cell death mechanisms
  • Synaptic proteins
  • Motor proteins
  • SAP97
  • Sirtuin 3
  • Myosin VI



Teaching Interests: 

  • BIOD65H: Pathologies of the Nervous System