Expert course contributors - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Expert course contributors

Students at USC’s Thompson Institute have the benefit of hearing from a range of expert contributors during their studies.

Below are some of the experts who have contributed to the postgraduate and higher degree by research programs. Some of them are also available for supervising research students via the contact details on their bio pages.

Jim Lagopoulos
Professor Jim Lagopoulos

Professor/ Director/ Neurophysiologist

Professor Jim Lagopoulos is the director of USC's Thompson Institute. He has been involved with neuroimaging for more than 20 years in both the public and private sectors.

Professor Lagopoulos’ research programs are focused on youth mental health, healthy brain ageing and dementia, PTSD, and traumatic brain injury. He has published more than 300 peer-reviewed articles in some of the highest-ranking international journals.

Daniel Hermens
Professor Daniel Hermens

Professor of Youth Mental Health and Neurobiology, Thompson Institute

Professor Hermens leads the Thompson Institute’s Youth Mental Health and Neurobiology program. This includes the ground-breaking Longitudinal Adolescent Brain Study (LABS).

He is a cognitive psychophysiologist with a particular interest in the biological aspects of psychology. Professor Hermens has published more than 220 peer-reviewed articles in top ranked journals.

Paul Schwenn
Dr Paul Schwenn

Data Scientist, Thompson Institute

Dr Paul Schwenn is a Research Fellow and Data Scientist at USC's Thompson Institute. He is an integral part of the institute's data science and bioinformatics platform – as well as the institute’s neuroimaging platform.

Lauren Den Ouden
Dr Lauren Den Ouden

Dr Lauren Den Ouden is an AHPRA registered psychologist and clinical neuropsychology registrar. At USC's Thompson Institute, Lauren supports the Healthy Brain Ageing Clinic's research delivery and helps expand neuropsychological services at the institute.

Lauren’s specialist areas of knowledge include neuropsychology, cognition, psychological wellbeing and lifestyle.

Megan Dutton
Megan Dutton

Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Thompson Institute

Megan is AHPRA registered, endorsed Mental Health Nurse Practitioner and a Credentialed Mental Health Nurse with 30+ years of experience in clinical research.

She works across the Thompson Institute's clinical services and mental health research programs, including clinical trials involving novel treatments for suicidality, PTSD and depression.

Mia Schaumberg
Dr Mia A Schaumberg

Senior Lecturer, Physiology

Program Coordinator, Bachelor of Biomedical Science

USC School of Health & Behavioural Sciences

Dr Schaumberg’s specialist areas of knowledge include exercise physiology, healthy ageing, neurodegenerative diseases and the influence of exercise on cognitive function. She helped establish The University of Queensland’s Centre for Exercise and Healthy Brain Ageing, 

Her interest in exercise endocrinology led to her postdoctoral work in exercise, ageing and cognitive decline.

Trish Howard
Trish Howard

Communications Officer, Thompson Institute

As a communications, marketing and engagement professional, Trish promotes and gains public participation in the Thompson Institute’s ground-breaking mental health initiatives, spanning research, clinical services, education and The Alliance for Suicide Prevention - Sunshine Coast.

Dr Tamara De Regt
Dr Tamara De Regt

Senior Lecturer, Psychology

Program Coordinator, Master of Professional Psychology

Program Coordinator, Master of Psychology (Clinical)

Dr De Regt is a dual registered clinical psychologist and clinical neuropsychologist.

Her research interests include neuropsychological and daily functioning in people with alcohol use disorders, obstructive sleep apnoea, and adolescents with mental health conditions, as well as cognitive functioning in neurodegenerative conditions, decision making capacity, and cognitive functioning in people with mental and physical health conditions.

Zack Shan
Dr Zack Shan

Senior Research Fellow

Head of Neuroimaging Platform, Thompson Institute

Dr Zack Shan heads the Neuroimaging platform at the USC Thompson Institute and leads research into myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome.

Dr Shan is a biomedical engineer specialised in brain imaging and analysis of brain imaging data. His research has focused on integrative translational neuroimaging.

Karen-Ann Clarke
Dr Karen-Ann Clarke

Lecturer, Nursing (Mental Health)

Dr Karen-Ann Clarke has over 23 years of practical experience in inpatient and community mental health and general health care environments.

She has a passion for advocacy within mental health, and for minimising stigma associated with mental health care. Her PhD focused on the experiences of women who undergo electroconvulsive therapy as a treatment for depression.

Helen Stallman
Professor Helen Stallman

Professor, Clinical Psychology

Professorial Research Fellow - Suicide Prevention

Professor Helen Stallman leads the Thompson Institute’s Suicide Prevention program. This includes prevention, support, assessment, and treatment.

Professor Stallman is a Clinical Psychologist with significant experience in developing, evaluating, and disseminating psychological interventions to prevent and treat mental health problems. Her research has focused on suicide prevention, university health and wellbeing, parenting, and e-psychology.

Mervat Quirke

Strategic Partnerships Manager, Thompson Institute

Mervat Quirke is Strategic Partnerships Manager at USC’s Thompson Institute. She identifies, develops and maintains strategic partnerships with community, specialist and government groups locally, nationally and globally.

Her work also helps close the gap between research, industry and community – connecting more people with the benefits of mental health expertise, education and support.

Ben Isbel
Dr Benjamin Isbel

Research Program Coordinator, Healthy Brain Ageing, Thompson Institute

Dr Ben Isbel is the program coordinator for the Healthy Brain Ageing (HBA) Clinic at the Thompson Institute. In his PhD, he used EEG techniques to study the ability of mindfulness to enhance attention, mood, and cognition in normal ageing.

Larisa McLoughlin
Dr Larisa McLoughlin

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Youth Mental Health, Thompson Institute

Dr McLoughlin has been investigating cyberbullying since 2010 and her current work focuses on its neurological underpinnings. She uses MRI to observe how the brain responds to witnessing cyberbullying in young people, after a successful pilot study in 2019. Dr McLoughlin is also the team leader for the Longitudinal Adolescent Brain Study (LABS), and she has a particular interest in social connectedness and wellbeing.

Abdallah Mohamed
Dr Abdalla Z Mohamed

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Neuroimaging, Thompson Institute

Dr Abdalla Mohamed’s research is focused on the use of neuroimaging modalities to study neuropsychological issues, including trauma, ageing, dementia, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, and myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS).

Annelise Jefferies
Annelise Jefferies

Dietitian, Thompson Institute

Annelise is an Accredited Practicing Dietitian (APD) at the Thompson Institute.

Annelise works across programs including the Healthy Brain Ageing Clinic where she facilitates the dietetic intervention and supports research and consults in other mental health clinical services at the institute.

Jane Taylor
Associate Professor Jane Taylor

Associate Professor, Public Health

School of Health and Behavioural Sciences

Discipline Lead, Public Health

Coordinator, BHSc Applied Environmental Health

Dr Jane Taylor is the Discipline Leader for Public Health at USC with 25 years of professional health promotion experience.

Dr Taylor’s health promotion research focuses on strengthening the theoretical foundations of health promotion to support a critical (social justice and equity focused) practice approach.

Kayla Stefanidis
Dr Kayla Stefanidis

Research Fellow – Road Safety Research Collaboration

Dr Stefanidis is employed a Research Fellow within the Road Safety Research Collaboration Unit at the University of the Sunshine Coast. Dr Stefanidis holds a Bachelor of Psychology (with honours) and a PhD in cerebrovascular function and age-related cognitive decline.

Alison Willis
Dr Alison Willis

Dr Willis is an education academic leader in the fields of curriculum and pedagogy. Her research focuses on the effects of stress and trauma on learning.

She investigates the tensions between academic performance improvement agendas and student wellbeing concerns in Australian schools.