Centre for Neural Engineering

The Centre for Neural Engineering (CfNE) is an interdisciplinary centre, established to undertake research in neuroscience and neural diseases. The CfNE draws together leading neuroscientists, neurologists, psychiatrists, cell biologists, geneticists, electrophysicists, chemists, physicists and engineers from the University of Melbourne and partner institutions.

Divided into several cutting-edge research laboratories, the CfNE focuses its research on:

Bionics: integrating electronic systems in the body to replace or assist function by directly stimulating neurons. This has direct application to vision, hearing, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease and spinal injuries.

Computational Neurobiology: bridging the gap from molecular structure to human behaviour. We will use novel approaches for collecting data at different spatial and temporal scales to develop multi-scale models that help us understand brain function in health and diseases.

Sensors & Imaging: understanding the dynamics of neuronal networks to gain insight into the brain’s information processing. By creating novel sensors of neural function, we can detect the electrical and chemical states of neurons and neural ensembles that can be exploited for the creation of novel drug therapies.

Stem Cells & Disease Models: combining our expertise in human stem cell biology, neurobiology, and cell and tissue engineering to model diseases of the human brain. In particular, we are using human neural and pluripotent stem cells to study and find new treatments for illnesses such as schizophrenia, autism, epilepsy and stroke.

Computational Biology:Transforming the genetic discovery landscape. We create affordable, robust computing methodologies and tools for the detection of predictive and diagnostic genomic signatures of interlinked DNA mutations from existing and forthcoming genome wide databases.

Integrative Biological Psychiatry: Our goal is to characterise the underlying causes of psychiatric disorders, with a particular focus on Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) through incorporation of state of the art genetic, neurobiology and neural engineering techniques.

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