Louise Parr-Brownlie, PhD
University of Otago
Associate Professor Louise Parr-Brownlie (Ngāti Maniapoto me Te Arawa) joined the Department of Anatomy at the University of Otago in 2010. Louise completed her undergraduate and doctoral training in neurophysiology at the University of Otago, and held Postdoctoral and Research Fellow positions at the National Institutes of Health in the United States. Her biomedical expertise is understanding how neuronal activity in the basal ganglia, motor thalamus and motor cortex controls movement, and characterising changes associated with Parkinson’s disease. This knowledge has been applied to examine if the complex patterns of stimulation applied to the motor thalamus can recover movements in parkinsonian models. Louise has worked with bioengineers to develop light-based brain stimulation devices that may be used in the future to treat Parkinson’s disease and other neurological disorders. Louise is the Director of the Ageing Well National Science Challenge, drawing on Western science and Indigenous (Māori) knowledge systems to ensure the best methods are used to answer mission-led questions. Louise has been an invited speaker at prestigious conferences in the United States, such as the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (Janelia) and Gordon Research Conferences. She is a member of the New Zealand Institute of Directors and is the Secretary of the International Basal Ganglia Society Council.