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Personal profile

Biography

Professor Norman Saunders is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Neuroscience, Central Clinical School at Monash University. Professor Saunders has a distinguished career working on the blood-brain barrier and on neural responses to injury and repair in the central nervous system, at University College London and more recently in Australia. Professor Saunders is also the founder of Virtually Sailing Ltd, a not-for-profit charity with the mission to bring sailing to people with disabilities and social disadvantage. From 2002 - 2022, he was a Professorial Fellow in Neuroscience in the Department of Pharmacology & Centre for Neuroscience at The University of Melbourne.

Since moving to Melbourne in 2002, Professor Saunders has achieved grant income of $12,496,995 from NIH, EU-FP7, NHMRC, and the Transport Accident Commission.

Professor Saunders has been engaged in media, ABC Science Show, ABC Occam’s Razor, The Conversation, numerous media interviews on paracetamol toxicity, Sailing for people with disabilities and disadvantage: Royal Talbot Rehabilitation Centre, Docklands YC, Laverton College, Berry Street School, Shepparton. 

Research interests

Internal environment of the developing brain: brain barrier & exchange mechanisms in relation to brain development. Brain barrier involvement in neurotoxicology of embryo, fetus and newborn. Mechanisms protecting fetal and neonatal brain from drugs administered to pregnant women and neonates. Collaboration with colleagues in CCS Monash University, The Australian National Nuclear Research and Development Organisation (ANSTO), Stanford University Neonatology, University of Copenhagen, INSERM Lyon, Royal Veterinary College, London, & St Thomas’s Hospital Neonatal Unit.

Design and development of real-time physical simulators for training, fitness and evaluation of performance in the able-bodied, and people with disabilities and social disadvantage (see www.virtualsailing.com.au). Clinical trials currently underway in spinal units in Johns Hopkins Medical School, Baltimore, University of Murcia, East Carolina University and Melbourne. Also working with centres in Sandsuky SC OH to promote sailing for a range of disability and social disadvantage. Simulator in Auckland used for wide range of disabilities including cerebral palsy, spinal injury, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy and stroke. Recent support from Rotary to run programmes for students from lower socioeconomic areas of Victoria. New programs starting in Swinburne University, University of Tasmania and University of Cagliari, Italy.

Education/Academic qualification

PhD

… → 1965

External positions

Head, Developmental Neurobiology & Neurotrauma Laboratory, Department of Pharmacology & Centre for Neuroscience, University of Melbourne

2022 → …

University Associate, College of Health & Medicine, University of Tasmania

2022 → …

Founder Virtually Sailing Ltd

2021 → …

Honorary Professorial Fellow in Neuroscience, University of Melbourne

2020 → …

Research area keywords

  • Neuroscience
  • Neurology
  • brain disorders

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
  • Member

    Norman Saunders (Member)

    2011 → …

    Activity: External Academic EngagementCommittees and working groups

  • Life Fellow

    Norman Saunders (Fellow)

    2005 → …

    Activity: External Academic EngagementCommittees and working groups

  • Member

    Norman Saunders (Member)

    1996 → …

    Activity: External Academic EngagementCommittees and working groups

  • Member

    Norman Saunders (Member)

    1993 → …

    Activity: External Academic EngagementCommittees and working groups

  • Member

    Norman Saunders (Member)

    1992 → …

    Activity: External Academic EngagementCommittees and working groups