Professor Mark Parsons

Professor Mark Parsons

Professor Mark Parsons

Research Program:
Research Topics:
Project Grant
2018 Project Grant
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2017 Project Grant
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2016 Project Grant
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2015 Project Grant
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2014 Project Grant
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2014 Project Grant
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2014 Project Grant
Fellowship
2013 Fellowship
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2013 Project Grant
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2013 Project Grant
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2012 Project Grant
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2011 Project Grant
Scholarship
2011 Scholarship
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2011 Project Grant
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2011 Project Grant
Scholarship
2010 Scholarship
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2010 Project Grant
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2009 Project Grant
HMRI Award for Early Career Research
2007 HMRI Award for Early Career Research
Fellowship
2007 Fellowship
Project Grant
2007 Project Grant
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2007 Project Grant
Project Grant
2005 Project Grant
Project Grant
2005 Project Grant

What are your research interests?

  • Mechanisms of stroke
  • Developing new treatments for stroke
  • Advancing triage and diagnosis of acute stroke
  • Advanced imaging of stroke and brain damage

Biography

Professor Mark Parsons is regarded as one of Australia’s leading clinical stroke and brain imaging researchers. In 2003, he began leading the stroke imaging research group within the HMRI Stroke Research Group and established a laboratory at John Hunter Hospital.

Using magnetic resonance (MRI) and CT imaging techniques, Professor Parsons’ brain imaging research is already being adopted in clinical practice to improve the selection of patients for acute stroke therapies involving clot-dissolving treatments which can reduce a stroke patient’s level of disability and lead to a quicker recovery when administered immediately after a stroke.

Professor Parsons’ PhD thesis detailed the use of modern MRI techniques in acute stroke, from which he published several scientific papers in high-impact international journals. He had particular interests in the effects of certain drugs in breaking up the blood clots that cause stroke and in salvaging brain tissue from sections that are not damaged permanently by stroke, known as the ischaemic penumbra.

Professor Parsons has also demonstrated the ability to translate fundamental research in the laboratory and clinic into solutions with a direct practical application in clinical practice. He has experience in the re-design and evaluation of health systems, often a critical step in the implementation of complex therapies such as stroke clot-busting drugs.

Professor Parsons led the development of an ambulance protocol in the Hunter Region for the rapid identification, pre-hospital notification, and rapid transport of potential patients suitable for clot-busting drugs to a specialist stroke centre. 

This means that thanks to Professor Parsons’ groundbreaking research, a specialist neurologist will likely be waiting at the hospital when an ambulance arrives with a stroke patient on board, armed with the knowledge of what type of stroke they have suffered and how to treat it immediately and effectively. 

In 2012, Professor Parsons and his colleagues found that a clot-busting medication called called Tenecteplase was superior to the standard therapy for stroke, Alteplase. He has led clinical trials in this area with very promising results and is now coordinating an internationally trial of tenecteplase for the treatment of stroke at over 50 centres worldwide. 

Professor Parsons’ research interests also include the adverse effects of diabetes on stroke outcomes and neurological rehabilitation and recovery. His findings linking high blood sugar and adverse stroke outcomes have had major implications for research in this field and potentially, clinical guidelines in the future. 

Professor Mark Parsons is the current President of the Stroke Society of Australasia, the Director of the Acute Stroke Unit at the John Hunter Hospital and an Honorary Neurologist at the Royal Melbourne Hospital. He has won many awards in his field including the HMRI Award for Excellence in Brain and Mental Health Research in 2004, the HMRI Award for Early Career Researcher in 2007 and the HMRI Director’s Award for Mid-Career Researcher in 2014. 

Specialised/Technical Skills 

  • Bedside Teaching
  • Cerebral blood flow and metabolism
  • Cerebrovascular disease
  • Clinical Tutoring
  • Functional brain imaging techniques in stroke
  • Lecturering
  • Neurological education
  • Neurological rehabilitation and brain recovery
  • Neurology Clinical Tutor
  • MRI scanning
  • CT scanning
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug development
  • Clinical trials

Affiliations

2018

A single centre trial evaluating microwave technology in acute stroke to differentiate haemorrhage from infarction: Stroke Finder Pilot Study
Project Grant
Researchers:
Description:

Stroke Finder Helmet Part 1 - Acute Care of Stroke Patients

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2017

A single centre trial evaluating microwave technology in acute stroke to differentiate haemorrhage from infarction: Stroke Finder Pilot Study
Project Grant
Researchers:
Description:

Stroke Finder Helmet Part 1 - Acute Care of Stroke Patients

more

2016

Tenecteplase versus Alteplase for Stroke Thrombolysis Evaluation (TASTE) trial
Project Grant
Researchers:

2015

Tenecteplase versus Alteplase for Stroke Thrombolysis Evaluation (TASTE) trial
Project Grant
Researchers:

2014

Individually tailoring stroke rehabilitation using advanced imaging
Project Grant
Description:

Stroke causes a major global disease burden due to the long lasting disability of survivors. 

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Neuroimaging Biomarkers of Recovery: Longitudinal Imaging Study in the Rehabilitation Phase post-Acute Ischemic Stroke (NEUROLISS)
Project Grant
Description:

The proposed project is highly significant because it will, for the first time, to accurately map the changes that occur in the brain following stoke and identify patters for good clinical outcomes.

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Tenecteplase versus Alteplase for Stroke Thrombolysis Evaluation (TASTE) trial
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Researchers:

2013

Mapping whole-brain metabolic networks
Project Grant
Researchers:

Dr Renate Thienel, Frini Karayanidis, Juanita Todd, Peter Stanwell, Mark Parsons, Chris Levi

Description:

Mapping networks in the brain

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The genetic determinants of brain haemorrhage associated with stroke thrombolysis
Project Grant
Researchers:

Professor Christopher Levi, J. Sturmm, Mark Parsons, Neil Spratt, A. Loiselle, B. O'Brien, V. Zenteno, L.Holliday, Rodney Scott, J. Maguire 

Description:

Stroke is the leading cause of long-term disability in Australia and the second leading cause of death.

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Greater Charitable Foundation Fellows in Stroke Research
Fellowship
Description:

This funding was provided to fund the vanguard phase of two clinical trials in stroke:

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2012

Greater Charitable Foundation Fellows in Stroke Research
Project Grant

2011

The role of brain vasular flow and white matter lesions in the development of Vascular Dementia (VaD) - Tomago Aluminium Research Grant in Dementia
Project Grant
Researchers:

Associate Professor Frini KarayanidisPat Michie, Tod Jolly, Pat Cooper, Clevi, Mark Parsons, Peter Scholfield
 

Beyond Perfusion: MRS to Characterise Metabolic Changes in the Ischaemic Brain - Project Grant
Project Grant
Researchers:

Dr Mark Parsons, Dr PT Stanwell
 

Experimental brain imaging to investigate novel protective mechanisms of short duration body cooling after stroke - Dalara Foundation Stroke Research Project Grant
Project Grant
Relationships between white matter lesions and cognitive and motor functioning in patients with minor ischaemic stroke: A structural and functional brain imaging study - RhD 2yr
Scholarship
Researchers:

2010

Relationships between white matter lesions and cognitive and motor functioning in patients with minor ischaemic stroke: A structural and functional brain imaging study - RhD 2yr
Scholarship
Researchers:
A structural and functional brain imaging study of how white matter lesions in patients with minor ischaemic stroke affect cognitive and motor control processes
Project Grant
Researchers:

Dr Frini Karayanidis, Mark Parsons, Patricia Michie, Christopher Levi, Sharna Jamadar, Matthew Hughes, Peter Schofield, Dr Grant Bateman

2009

Towards better early imaging in stroke: use of an experimental model to investigate CT brain perfusion
Project Grant

2007

A functional MRI and tractography study of the effect of early upper limb therapy on brain plasticity after stroke
Project Grant
Researchers:

Dr Timothy Budd, Dr Mark Parsons, Dr Chris Levi
 

A functional MRI study of Upper limb therapy in acute stroke
Project Grant
Researchers:

Dr Mark Parsons, Dr Bill Budd, Dr Chris Levi
 

Keeping Brain Cells alive in Stroke Treatment
Fellowship
Researchers:

Dr Christopher Levi, Professor Mike Calford, Dr Mark Parsons
 

Award for Early Career Research - Mark Parsons
HMRI Award for Early Career Research
Researchers:

2005

Acute Stroke - Imaging the Ischaemic Penumbra with Perfusion CT
Project Grant
Researchers:
Award for Outstanding Achievement in Brain and Mental Health
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Researchers: