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Personal profile


Dr Nakisa Malakooti obtained her PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Melbourne, focussing on the functional characterisation of inersectin-1, a gene over-expressed in Down syndrome and analysis of intrinsic metals in the Down syndrome brain with Alzheimer's disease neuropathology. Dr Malakooti joined the Drug Discovery Steroid Neurobiology Laboratory, The Florey working on a project for the treatment of Autism. In 2020, she joined the Cell Physiology Laboratory, the Department of Anatomy & Developmental Biology, Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute and established a human kidney and brain organoids facility within the lab. Since November 2021, she is a Jerome LeJune research flow at the Monash BDI, focussing on gene interactions in the cognitive decline in Down syndrome.

Dr Nakisa Malakooti is also an invited lecturer for Masters in Biomedicine  (Advanced neurology) on the topic of Down syndrome and Dementia (August 2021-present).

Research interests

I aim to understand how structural changes lead to functional changes resulting in cognitive decline. One of the challenges in the field of neuroscience is that the events in the brain cannot be monitored. Having a brain organoid is the closest model to the actual human brain to study these events.

  • Cell Biology and Developmental Biology
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Trace metals in cognitive decline
  • Advanced fluorescence imaging and data analysis
  • Human stem cells, differentiated neurons and brain organoids

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

Education/Academic qualification

Neuroscience, PhD, University of Melbourne

Award Date: 11 Apr 2018

Research area keywords

  • Endosomal trafficking
  • Stem Cells
  • Organoids
  • Dementia
  • down syndrome
  • Brain health
  • Autism
  • microscopy


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