School of Biomedicine
Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences
Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD - email supervisor to discuss availability.
Dr Leonard is a research active Senior Lecturer in the Discipline of Anatomy and Pathology, Adelaide Medical School (AMS). After completion of her PhD in Dec, 2012 (Dean’s commendation; University Doctoral Medal), she undertook local (UofA; Neil Sachse Foundation Fellowship) and international (University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA) post-doctoral training, gaining research expertise in various animal models of traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI). In 2016, she returned to Adelaide (RAH ECR Fellowship) to begin establishing a novel porcine model of traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI), a major arm of her research program. In 2017, Dr Leonard was appointed a continuing academic and began further establishing her research within Adelaide. She currently heads the Spinal Cord Injury Research group in the School of Biomedicine and has established a national profile within the neurotrauma field as an emerging early career researcher. With 300-400 new cases of SCI in Australia each year, resulting in a financial burden of >$2billion annually and even greater personal loss, there is a real need for research within this field to generate meaningful improved outcomes for people living with SCI. Dr Leonard's research is focused on understanding the acute outcomes following SCI, particularly surrounding the relationship between oedema, haemorrhage and raised intrathecal pressure (ITP), and the role of neuroinflammation in both acute and chronic outcomes.
- My Research
- Grants and Funding
- Professional Activities
I lead the spinal cord injury research group (SCIRG), within the School of Biomedicine. The SCIRG is focused on understanding the secondary injury processes that occur post-SCI and how these can be targeted to improve outcome. We have recently developed a clinically relevant large animal model of SCI, the first in Australia, which allows us to investigate more clinically relevant outcome measures and potentially improve translation into the clinic. We also work with small animal models to help understand the secondary injury processes post-SCI, with a particular focus on neuroinflammation, oedema and pressure. We are also interested in understanding how these processes can impact on chronic outcomes such as cognition and neuropathic pain.
Current Projects Focus on:
- Understanding how cognitive deficits develop chronically post-SCI
- Evaluating peripheral stimulation as a novel treatment post-SCI
- The impact of ageing and associated neuroinflammatory response following traumatic spinal cord injury
- The role of concomitant brain injury on the development of neuropathic pain post-SCI.
These projects (or components of) are available for third year research placement (Sem 1 start only), honours (Sem 1 start only), masters and PhD students.
Date Position Institution name 2020 - ongoing Senior Lecturer The University of Adelaide 2016 - 2019 Lecturer The University of Adelaide
Date Institution name Country Title 2009 - 2012 The University of Adelaide Australia PhD 2007 - 2007 The University of Adelaide Australia Bachelor of Health Science Honours (1st Class) 2004 - 2006 The University of Adelaide Australia Bachelor of Health Science
Year Citation 2016 Leonard, A., & Turner, R. (2016). Aquaporins within the Central Nervous System: Implications for Oedema Following Traumatic CNS Injury. In G. Soveral, S. Nielsen, & A. Casini (Eds.), Aquaporins in Health and Disease: New Molecular Targets for Drug Discovery (pp. 205-216). Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press. 2013 Gabrielian, L., Helps, S., Thornton, E., Turner, R., Leonard, A., & Vink, R. (2013). Substance P antagonists as a novel intervention for brain edema and raised intracranial pressure. In Y. Katayama, T. Maeda, & T. Kuroiwa (Eds.), Brain Edema XV (Vol. 118, pp. 201-204). Vienna: Springer.
DOI Scopus33 Europe PMC24
2013 Leonard, A., & Vink, R. (2013). The effect of an NK1 receptor antagonist on blood spinal cord barrier permeability following balloon compression-induced spinal cord injury. In Y. Katayama, T. Maeda, & T. Kuroiwa (Eds.), Brain Edema XV (Vol. 118, pp. 303-306). Vienna: Springer.
DOI Scopus7 Europe PMC3
Year Citation 2016 Turner, R., Leonard, A. V., & Vink, R. (2016). LOWERING ICP FOLLOWING STROKE: NK1 ANTAGONIST AS EFFECTIVE AS DECOMPRESSIVE SURGERY. In JOURNAL OF CEREBRAL BLOOD FLOW AND METABOLISM Vol. 36 (pp. 419). Vancouver, CANADA: SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC.
Year Citation 2023 Bessen, M., Gayen, C., Quarrington, R., Walls, A., O’Hare Doig, R., Dorrian, R., . . . Jones, C. (2023). Spinal cerebrospinal fluid flow following traumatic spinal cord injury: an investigation using phase-contrast magnetic resonance imaging in the pig. Poster session presented at the meeting of Spine Week 2023: Spine Society of Australia 34th Annual Scientific Meeting. Melbourne. 2022 Bessen, M. A., Gayen, C. D., Quarrington, R. D., Walls, A. C., Leonard, A. V., Kurtcuoglu, V., & Jones, C. F. (2022). Characterising spinal cerebrospinal fluid flow in the pig with phase-contrast magnetic resonance imaging. Poster session presented at the meeting of Unknown Conference.
2013 Leonard, A. V., Thornton, E., & Vink, R. (2013). RAISED INTRATHECAL PRESURE FOLLOWING TRAUMATIC SPINAL CORD INJURY: EDEMA OR INCREASED BLOOD VOLUME?. Poster session presented at the meeting of JOURNAL OF NEUROTRAUMA. Nashville, TN: MARY ANN LIEBERT, INC.
My research program has been funded by the following grant schemes:
- Lifetime Support Authority (CIB)
- Morton Cure Paralysis Fund (CIA)
- Brain Foundation (CIA)
- Neurosurgical Research Foundation (CIA)
- Conquer Paralysis Now (CIA)
- Depuy Synthes (CIC)
- UAB Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (CIA)
- Royal Adelaide Hospital Research Committee Early Career Fellowship (CIA)
- Neil Sachse Foundation Fellowship (CIA)
Dr Leonard teaches into 7 courses across Health and Medical Science programs, focused on neuroscience and research skills, as well as the respiratory system and reproductive system.
Dr Leonard is Course Coordinator for the following courses:
- HLTH SC 1002 - Create. Communicate. Connect with Health and Medical Sciences (Sem 1)
PATHOL 3200 - Neurological Diseases
Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)
Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name 2023 Co-Supervisor Characterising cognitive impairment within individuals diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease, Cancer, and Spinal Cord Injury, and developing novel strategies to target this. Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Madeleine Anne Homes-Vickers 2023 Co-Supervisor Evaluation of novel therapeutics in a novel gyrencephalic model of traumatic brain injury Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Carl Llewelyn Hooper 2023 Co-Supervisor Targeted drug delivery for treatment of respiratory dysfunction following spinal cord injury using retrograde transport of biodegradable nanoparticles. Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Paul Marciano 2021 Principal Supervisor Evaluating the efficacy of peripheral nerve stimulation via a novel graft antenna to reduce neuroinflammation following traumatic spinal cord injury Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Ryan Dorrian 2021 Co-Supervisor Preclinical evaluation of the novel therapeutic compound APP96-110 in a ferret model of traumatic brain injury. Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Justin Leigh Krieg 2021 Co-Supervisor Characterising cerebrospinal fluid flow and oedema development in response to traumatic spinal cord injury in a pre-clinical model Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Madeleine Amy Bessen 2021 Principal Supervisor Evaluating the role of concomitant traumatic brain injury on the development of neuropathic pain following traumatic spinal cord injury Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Keziah Jane Skein 2020 Principal Supervisor The role of neuroinflammation in mediating cognitive deficits following traumatic spinal cord injury: Can Fyn kinase inhibition break the link? Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Kavi Sivasankar 2019 Principal Supervisor Developing and Characterising a Survival Model of Thoracic Contusion Spinal Cord Injury in Pigs Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Christine Gayen
Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)
Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name 2017 - 2021 Co-Supervisor Bridging the Gap in Clinical Translation: Optimising an Ovine Model of Traumatic Brain Injury Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Jessica May Sharkey 2016 - 2021 Co-Supervisor Targeting Cerebral Oedema and Elevated Intracranial Pressure in a Preclinical Model of Ischaemic Stroke Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Annabel Jain Sorby-Adams 2013 - 2017 Co-Supervisor Expression of Substance P and the Tachykinin NK1 Receptor in the Medullary Serotonergic Network of the Human Infant during Development: Implications for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Fiona Maree Bright
Date Topic Presented at Institution Country 2021 - ongoing Developing and Characterising a Porcine Survival Model of Thoracic Contusion Spinal Cord Injury Annual Scientific Meeting Spine Society of Australia - 2021 - ongoing Developing and Characterising a Porcine Survival Model of Thoracic Contusion Spinal Cord Injury Florey Postgraduate Research Conference Florey Medical Foundation, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, The University of Adelaide - 2020 - ongoing Developing and Characterising a Porcine Survival Model of Thoracic Contusion Spinal Cord Injury South Australian Annual Scientific Meeting Australian Society for Medical Research - 2019 - ongoing Developing a Porcine Survival Model of Thoracic Contusion Spinal Cord Injury - Adelaide Spinal Research Symposium - 2018 - ongoing Methodology for Measuring Intrathecal Pressure Changes Following Spinal Cord Injury - Australian Neurotrauma Workshop -
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