Professor Elizabeth Coulson profile photoWhy do you study dementia? Why did you choose to follow this research path?

I‘m interested in learning and memory processes, and dementia is a condition where that goes wrong, so by comparing the situations you can learn about both.

What impact do you hope your research will have on society?

I might discover something that could help people living with dementia in the longer term – either reasons why and how dementia occurs, or possibly a way to slow or stop neurodegeneration that causes dementia.

Why did you choose to conduct your research at the Clem Jones Centre for Ageing Dementia Research (CJCADR)?

CJCADR, the Queensland Brain Institute (QBI), and the University of Queensland (UQ) are world-class institutions with excellent and diverse researchers with diverse research backgrounds. Collaboration at the edges of knowledge often brings leaps in understanding and it has for my research.

How does CJCADR create new discoveries about the brain?

Fundamental discoveries about how neurons are generated, live, function and die help us to understand how the brain works and molecules in brain cells function. Asking simple questions and following our curiosity leads to new discoveries which is new knowledge. We don’t know what we will find, but once we’ve found something new often we can't think how that knowledge fits with existing knowledge and/or might be applied in lifestyle changes or treatments for better brain health and/or mental health.

What were your first thoughts when you joined CJCADR?

I could never have imagined what we would have discovered 10 years on, but I knew we would have discovered some major things.

What would you like to see CJCADR achieve in the next 10 years?

I think a number of discoveries are on the cusp of having impact on how we think about neurodegeneration processes as well as applications moving toward therapies. I hope in 10 years we are still discovering new things and that some of the discoveries will be moved toward clinical trials so that ultimately we can help people living with dementia to live their best lives for as long as possible and stop others going down that pathway.


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