20082021

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Personal profile

Biography

Sharna Jamadar is a Senior Research Fellow and NHMRC Emerging Leader Fellow at Monash Biomedical Imaging and Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health.

Sharna's research is focused on understanding how our life experiences change our brains, and how this may confer resilience to the ageing process.  She is particularly interested in studying the neural bases of cognitive control, and has explored the consequences of disruption of cognitive control in a number of conditions, including healthy ageing, psychosis (schizophrenia, bipolar disorder) and substance abuse. She also has an emerging interest in the neuroscience of parenthood and is supervising two student projects in this theme. Sharna is an expert in multimodal neuroimaging, and uses a number of imaging techniques to understand cognitive control, including positron emission tomography (PET), functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), electroencephalography (EEG) and oculomotor measures (eye-tracking). 

At Monash Biomedical Imaging, Sharna's team leads the development of simultaneous functional MRI-PET imaging in humans at the facility. Sharna's team has developed novel MRI-PET measures that provide high resolution mapping of the function, structure, and metabolic efficiency of the brain. For the first time, these new techniques allow researchers to study task-related changes in brain function and metabolism with a temporal resolution below 20sec. This work will have substantial implications for our understanding of how the brain dynamically uses energy; and Sharna will use these new methods to understand how the metabolic efficiency of the brain changes across the lifespan.

To date Sharna has received over $6.3mil in competitive funding as CI or AI, including grants from the Australian Research Council (ARC) and National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). Sharna has received numerous awards for the quality of her work, including the Distinguished Early Career Contribution to Psychopharmacology (Society for Psychophysiological Research, USA), and awards from Society for Neuroscience (USA), American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, and Schizophrenia Research Institute (Australia). In 2016 she was accepted into the inaugural Homeward Bound Antarctic leadership program for women. In 2018 she was accepted into the prestigious Science & Technology Australia Superstars of STEM program.

Sharna is committed to service and advocacy in the scientific and general communities. She was invited to serve on the Australian Academy of Science Equity & Diversity Reference Group in 2020, and was elected to the Executive of the Australasian Cognitive Neuroscience Society in 2018. She is also co-founder of the Australasian Women in Neuroscience Network. Since 2016, Sharna has contributed to over 100 general media articles, including pieces in Fairfax Media, News Ltd, Channel 10 and ABC Radio National. 

 

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Research interests

cognitive ageing, healthy ageing, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), positron emission tomography (PET), oculomotor control, executive function, cognitive neuroscience, neuroimaging, parenthood

Research area keywords

  • positron emission tomography (PET)
  • healthy ageing
  • functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)
  • cognitive control
  • oculomotor control
  • Cognitive neuroscience
  • structural magnetic resonance imaging (sMRI)
  • executive function

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