Nellie Georgiou-Karistianis


1993 …2020

Research activity per year

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Personal profile


Professor Nellie Georgiou-Karistianis is a cognitive neuroscientist and Professor of Psychology, with over twenty years’ experience in academia, research and leadership. She is currently the Deputy Dean of Academic and Graduate Affairs of Monash University’s Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences. In this role, Professor Georgiou-Karistianis oversees academic performance across the areas of probation, performance development and promotion, as well as managing the Faculty’s graduate research degree programs.

Professor Georgiou-Karistianis has a Bachelor of Science (Honours) and was awarded her Doctor of Philosophy in 1997. She heads the Georgiou-Karistianis Experimental Neuropsychology Research Unit within the Turner Institute of Brain and Mental Health. She is internationally renowned for her pioneering work in Huntington’s disease and Friedreich ataxia, and has discovered novel biomarkers for tracking the diseases’ progression, now being used in early drug development for clinical trials. Her work has provided new insights paving the way in how we examine and treat these diseases at the brain, cognitive and motor levels.

Professor Georgiou-Karistianis has led large interdisciplinary clinical projects (IMAGE-HD and IMAGE-FRDA), attracting over $14m in research funding from competitive government granting schemes and philanthropic bodies. As Coordinating Principal Investigator, she leads TRACK-FA – an international study comprising six academic partners and five industry sponsors with a focus on validating neuroimaging biomarkers so that they’re ready to be pushed through the drug development pipeline. In this role she is also Chairperson of the TRACK-FA Neuroimaging Consortium.  She has supervised 29 PhD students to completion, with seven successful recipients of NHMRC Early Career Researcher (ECF) fellowships.

Professor Georgiou-Karistianis has published over 200 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters, and she has been the invited keynote speaking at leading international conferences, including the World Congress of Huntington’s Disease; Cure Huntington’s Disease Initiative (CHDI) Foundation Annual Therapeutics Conference; and European Huntington’s Disease Network.  She is the Director of the Huntington’s Research Group of Victoria (HRGV) and is a member of the editorial board for the Journal of Huntington's Disease. She currently serves on a number of international committees, including with the Huntington’s Disease Regulatory Science Consortium (HD-RSC), Critical Path Institute and the Cure Huntington’s Disease Initiative (CHDI) Foundation and on the Board of Directors of Health Education Australia Limited (HEAL).

Education/Academic qualification

Bachelor of Science (Honours), MONASH UNIVERSITY

Doctor of Philosophy, MONASH UNIVERSITY

Leadership for Senior Executives, Harvard University

Williamson Community Leadership, Leadership Victoria

Research area keywords

  • Cognitive Function
  • Friedreich Ataxia
  • Huntington Disease
  • Motor Function
  • Neurodegenerative disorders
  • Neuroimaging
  • Exercise training
  • Cognitive neuroscience
  • Dementia
  • Cognitive brain training


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