Australian researcher recognised for work in developing next generation treatments for Parkinson’s disease

Australian Institute of Policy and Science

Nicholas Sinclair, a biomedical engineer working in neuroprosthetics and neurostimulation therapies, has been awarded the 2020 CSL Florey Next Generation Award for top PhD candidate in health and biomedical sciences.

Parkinson’s disease is one of the most common neurological disorders. Approximately 12,000 new cases are reported in Australia each year, increasing the healthcare burden.

With wide and varied symptoms alongside differing degrees of severity, Parkinson’s disease is often difficult to treat.

Nicholas discovered a new brain signal which could dramatically improve treatment of Parkinson’s disease with enhanced deep brain stimulation (DBS) therapy.

This brain signal can guide next-generation DBS devices to be implanted in the brain with pinpoint accuracy and will automatically adapt to the patient’s needs.

There is also potential to improve treatment of other conditions, such as epilepsy and depression.

The CSL Florey Next Generation Award recognises a current PhD candidate who has demonstrated outstanding achievement and potential in biomedical sciences, health and medical research. It is an initiative of the Australian Institute of Policy and Science (AIPS), supported by CSL, to encourage the growth of up-and-coming researchers.

It carries a $20,000 cash prize and trophy, and was awarded virtually as part of the annual Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes (AAMRI) Convention.

“Nicholas’ research at the Bionics Institute has already discovered a new brain signal which could radically improve treatment of Parkinson’s Disease. The work that researchers such as Nicholas are able to carry out is an important part of translating research knowledge and expertise into best practice medical care,” says Dr Andrew Nash, CSL’s Chief Scientific Officer. “CSL is proud to support this award for promising young Australian researchers. We congratulate Nicholas for his outstanding achievements and wish him every success in his research career.”

“A more scientifically engaged society is what every scientist should aspire to,” says Prof Maria Kavallaris, Co-Chair of AIPS. “These researchers are shaping the future of health care and our way of life in ways we can’t even begin to imagine”.

Nicholas Sinclair is a Senior Research Engineer and doctoral candidate at the Bionics Institute.

/Public Release.