Concussion researcher linking with London’s Kings College

Dec 20 2013

Dr Andrew Gardner

University of Newcastle neuroscience researcher Dr Andrew Gardner has received a highly competitive 2013 Australia Award to continue his research and studies overseas.

Funded by the Federal Government, the annual series of scholarships and fellowships is designed to develop the next generation of global leaders by supporting the nation’s leading students to undertake study and research overseas, and give top international students the opportunity to attend Australian universities.

Dr Gardner has been awarded an Endeavour Research Fellowship to continue his research into sports-related concussion at London’s Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College.

“Given Australia’s great affinity with contact sports and the high levels of participation across our football codes, establishing a better understanding of post injury neurological changes and the reasons why some athletes go on to develop dementia later in life requires considerable attention,” Dr Gardner said.

“The Endeavour Research Fellowship provides me with an invaluable opportunity to access the latest technology and join world-leading academic colleagues at the Institute of Psychiatry to develop a greater understanding about concussion and traumatic brain injury, and many other neurological and psychiatric syndromes.”

In 2012 Dr Gardner received an HMRI Exchange Visit Prize to become the first student to participate in the exchange agreement between the University of Newcastle and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School in Boston.

Working in the Centre for Clinical Spectroscopy and the Centre for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy, he examined the prevalence, onset and progression of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) among collision sports athletes. CTE is a neurodegenerative disease believed to be a consequence of sports-related concussive and sub-concussive blows.

Andrew aims to establish himself as a world-leader in sports-related concussion research.

Dr Andrew Gardner researches in collaboration with HMRI’s Brain and Mental Health Program and the University of Newcastle’s Priority Research Centre for Translational Neuroscience and Mental Health. HMRI is a partnership between the University of Newcastle, Hunter New England Health and the community.