Dr Sophie Andrews | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Dr Sophie Andrews

DPsych Monash, BSci Hons Monash, GradDipPsych Monash, BA RMIT University

  • Senior Research Fellow – ARC DECRA Fellow
  • Lead – Healthy Brain Ageing Research Program, Thompson Institute
Email
Telephone
+61 7 5459 4476
Office location
Thompson Institute
Campus
USC Thompson Institute

Dr Sophie Andrews is a Senior Research Fellow and Lead of the Healthy Brain Ageing Research Program in the Thompson Institute. She is a cognitive neuroscientist and registered clinical neuropsychologist, and her research is currently supported by a Discovery Early Career Research Award (DECRA), funded by the Australian Research Council.

Sophie’s research is focused on how lifestyle can improve brain and cognitive health and reduce risk for dementia, and how best to support people to change their lifestyle habits. The Healthy Brain Ageing research program uses cutting-edge neuroscience techniques, including MRI, EEG and TMS, to investigate the effectiveness of multi-modal lifestyle interventions for dementia risk reduction and brain health in older people. Sophie also investigates the cognitive neuroscience of habit formation and change in ageing and is currently piloting a habits-based physical activity behaviour change intervention to increase physical activity for people with mild cognitive impairment.

Prior to joining USC and commencing her DECRA, from 2019 – 2021 Sophie was a Research Fellow at Neuroscience Research Australia and University of New South Wales School of Psychology, Sydney, where she worked within the NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence in Cognitive Health. From 2014 – 2018 Sophie was a Research Fellow in the Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health at Monash University, Melbourne, where she completed a Huntington’s Disease Society of America Fellowship, investigating the effects of exercise on neuroplasticity and cognition in Huntington’s disease. Her additional research interests include understanding the relationships between neuropsychiatric and cognitive symptoms in neurodegenerative diseases.

In 2013, Sophie completed a DPsych (Clinical Neuropsychology) at Monash University. Her doctoral thesis investigated the mirror system in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder using TMS and EEG.

  • Registered clinical neuropsychologist
  • Review Editor for Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience

Research Grants

  • 2021-2024 Andrews, S.C.
    Value: $437,000
    Australian Research Council - Discovery Early Career Researcher Award
    Habit formation and change in ageing: Developing a neuropsychological model.
  • 2020 – 2022 Andrews, S.C., Anstey, K.J., Lautenschlager, N., & Delbaere, K.
    Value: $75,000
    Dementia Centre for Research Collaboration – Dementia Australia Research Foundation Pilot Grant
    Harnessing habits to increase physical activity in people with Mild Cognitive Impairment and Subjective Cognitive Decline.
  • 2020 Xu, Y., Keay, L., Peters, R., Phu, J., Anstey, K., Anderson, C., Ee, N., Andrews, S.C., & Kootar, S.
    Value: $39,000
    UNSW Ageing Futures Institute Seed Project Grant.
    Eye biomarkers for cognitive impairment.
  • 2019 Andrews, S.C., Anstey, K.J., Delbaere, K., Killcross, S., & Brady, B.
    Value: $30,000
    UNSW Ageing Futures Institute Seed Project Grant.
    Investigating the role of habit in maintaining physical activity in older people.
  • 2019 Kootar, S., Anstey, K.J., Bryant, R.A, & Andrews, S.C.
    Value: $29,126
    UNSW Ageing Futures Institute Seed Project Grant.
    To develop an algorithm using different anxiety and stress-related factors to predict cognitive decline in older adults.
  • 2016 – 2019 Andrews, S.C., Stout, J.C., & Coxon, J.P.
    Value: $200,536 ($US145,775)
    HD Human Biology Project Fellowship & Project Grant, Huntington’s Disease Society of America.
    Exercise and brain stimulation as modifiers of neuroplasticity in HD.
  • 2016 – 2018 Stout, J.C., Loy, C., Andrews, S.C., Drummond, S.
    Value: $49,074
    Dementia Collaborative Research Centre Project Grant.
    Remote Assessment of Cognition in Huntington’s Disease: Assessing day-to-day variability and relationship to sleep and physical activity levels.
  • 2016 Coxon, J.P., Rogasch, N., & Andrews, S.C.
    Value: $8,600
    Faculty Medicine Nursing and Health Sciences Platform Access Grant.
    Augmenting motor learning with high-intensity exercise and non-invasive brain stimulation
  • 2014 Andrews, S.C., & Stout, J.C.
    Value: $5,000
    Monash Biomedical Imaging & Swinburne University of Technology Psychology Grant.

Potential research projects for HDR students

  • Investigating the cognitive neuroscience of habit formation and change in ageing
  • Habit formation and change in Huntington’s and Parkinson’s disease
  • Developing a personalized medicine approach to behaviour change support for healthy lifestyles in ageing
  • Investigating neuroplasticity in response to lifestyle interventions in healthy ageing and mild cognitive impairment

Research areas

  • dementia risk reduction
  • lifestyle interventions for healthy ageing
  • cognitive neuroscience of ageing
  • habit formation and change
  • non-invasive brain stimulation
  • neuroplasticity effects of physical activity
  • mild cognitive impairment
  • Huntington's disease

Sophie is available as a primary or co-supervisor for Honours, Masters or PhD students. Potential research topics:

  • Investigating the cognitive neuroscience of habit formation and change in ageing
  • Habit formation and change in Huntington’s and Parkinson’s disease
  • Developing a personalized medicine approach to behaviour change support for healthy lifestyles in ageing
  • Investigating neuroplasticity in response to lifestyle interventions in healthy ageing and mild cognitive impairment

Andrews SC, Curtin D, Coxon JP, & Stout JC, 2022. “Motor cortex plasticity response to acute cardiorespiratory exercise and intermittent theta- burst stimulation is attenuated in premanifest and early Huntington’s disease”, Scientific Reports. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-04378-2

Andrews SC, Parekh DP, Brooke B, Delbaere K, Huque MH, Killcross S & Anstey KJ, 2021. “Associations between planned exercise, walking, incidental physical activity, and habit strength in older people: a cross-sectional study”, Journal of Aging and Physical Activity. doi: 10.1123/japa.2021-0284

Andrews SC, Langbehn DR, Craufurd D, Durr A, Leavitt BR, Roos RA, Tabrizi SJ, Stout JC, & the TRACK-HD Investigators, 2021. “Apathy predicts cognitive decline over 24 months in premanifest Huntington's disease”, Psychological Medicine, 51 (8), 1338-1344. doi: 10.1017/S0033291720000094.

Andrews SC, Curtin D, Hawi Z, Wongtrakun J, Stout JC, & Coxon JP ,2020. “Intensity matters: High-intensity interval exercise enhances motor cortex plasticity more than moderate exercise”, Cerebral Cortex. 30: 101-112. https://doi.org/10.1093/cercor/BHZ075

McClaren B, Glikmann-Johnston Y, Mercieca E, Murray NWG, Loy C, Bellgrove MA, Stout JC, & Andrews SC, 2021. “Greater time in bed and less physical activity associate with poorer cognitive functioning performance in Huntington’s disease”, Neuropsychology, 35 (6), 656-667. https://doi.org/10.1037/neu0000757

Dr Sophie Andrews' specialist areas of knowledge include: Healthy brain ageing; benefits of physical activity for brain health; healthy lifestyles for dementia prevention; strategies to create and maintain healthy lifestyle habits; Mild Cognitive Impairment; cognitive changes in Huntington’s disease.

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