Joanne Ryan

Assoc Professor

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

High performing students with an interest in cognitive ageing, dementia or mental well-being, or epigenetics.


Research activity per year

Personal profile


A/Prof. Joanne Ryan heads the Biological Neuropsychiatry and Dementia research unit in the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine (SPHPM).

Joanne initially trained as a molecular biologist, completing a University of Melbourne Science degree with honours in the Department of Biochemistry. She then obtained a Masters of Biostatistics through the Biostatistics Collaboration of Australia, at Monash University. She completed in 2011 a PhD in neuropsychiatric epidemiology with the University of Melbourne and Université Montpellier 1, France. Having been awarded an NHMRC Early Career Fellowship in Public Health, she completed an initial post-doc at INSERM (in France) and then returned to Melbourne to develop skills and expertise in epigenetic epidemiology at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute. In 2017 she was awarded an NHMRC Dementia Research Leadership fellowship, and is a co-investigator on the large ASPREE-XT follow-up study of the ASPREE clinical trial.

Joanne's research in neuropsychiatric disorders is focused on preventative interventions and risk prediction, and understanding the biological underpinnings of these disorders, as well as biomarker identification (including epigenetics). Her long-term vision is to reduce the prevalence and burden of neuropsychiatric disorders across the life-course, and identify strategies to optimise healthy cognitive ageing and mental well-being.

Research interests

Dementia; Cognitive Ageing; Epigenetics; Depression; Stress/Trauma; Biological underpinnings; Frailty

Monash teaching commitment

Honours Coordinator, Bachelor of Biomedical Science, SPHPM 

BMS4200 - Biostatistics for Honours Students (Unit Coordinator)

BMS3052 - Biomedical Basis & Epidemiology of Human Disease

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

External positions

Honorary Research Fellow, Murdoch Children's Research Institute

Jul 2017 → …

Honorary Research Fellow, University of Melbourne

Apr 2013 → …

Honorary Research Fellow, INSERM - Institut National de la Sante et de la Recherche Medicale (National Institute of Health and Medical Research)

Jan 2011 → …

Research area keywords

  • Dementia
  • Alzheimer's Disease
  • Depression
  • Epigenetics
  • Epidemiology
  • Biostatistics
  • Genetic epidemiology
  • Stress
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Trauma
  • Longitudinal designs and analyses

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or