A/Professor Jana Vukovic
Queensland Brain Institute
University of Queensland

Title: "Demystifying the functional role of microglia in the injured brain"

Immune mechanisms contribute to secondary tissue loss after traumatic brain injury (TBI), including in the hippocampus — a brain region that is key for learning and memory but highly vulnerable to insult. Activation of microglia, the brain’s resident immune cells, has been implicated in the progressive secondary tissue loss after TBI, and also in the ongoing cognitive dysfunction and decline during the more chronic stages of injury. Much of this has, however, been based on correlative observations rather than direct evidence for a causal pathological role of microglia in these processes. To address this, we are using both genetic and pharmacologic approaches to conditionally deplete microglia from the brain, subsequently studying how absence of these cells influences the outcome from a moderate controlled cortical impact. Our results show that microglia directly contribute to secondary cell and tissue loss after TBI, that these cells negatively interfere with hippocampal neurogenesis, i.e. the birth of new neurons in the post-TBI brain, and also spatial learning abilities after TBI. Our ongoing experiments are now focused on elucidating the cellular and molecular effector mechanisms via which microglia influence the outcome from TBI.


About Neuroscience Seminars

Neuroscience seminars at the QBI play a major role in the advancement of neuroscience in the Asia-Pacific region. The primary goal of these seminars is to promote excellence in neuroscience through the exchange of ideas, establishing new collaborations and augmenting partnerships already in place.

Seminars in the QBI Auditorium are held on Wednesdays at 12-1pm, which are sometimes simulcast on Zoom (with approval from the speaker). We also occassionally hold seminars from international speakers via Zoom. The days and times of these seminars will vary depending on the time zone of the speaker. Please see each seminar listed below for details. 


Neuroscience Seminars archive 2005-2018