Anna Macleod

Dr Anna Macleod

Lecturer

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 AMS 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.

I lead the spinal cord injury research group (SCIRG) a division of the Translational Neuropathology Research Group, within the Adelaide Medical School. 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 (rodent) to help understand the secondary injury processes post-SCI, with a particular focus on neuroinflammation, oedema and pressure.

Current Available Projects:

Project 1

Title: Investigating the acute response of the spinal cord and cerebrospinal fluid to trauma, in a pre-clinical model.

Description: This project is seeking to develop, characterise and use a pre-clinical (large animal) model of spinal cord injury. The model will have specific utility to obtain serial measurements of pressure within the intrathecal space, as well as intra-operative (ultrasound) and serial measurements (MRI) measurements of spinal cord morphology, oedema and haemorrhage, and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flow. The ultimate aim of the research program is to investigate the effect of novel surgical interventions on these parameters, as well as on the functional recovery of the animals, and on histological markers of spinal cord damage. Student(s) will work within a dynamic multidisciplinary team of scientists, engineers and clinicians, and will be exposed to a wide variety of novel experimental techniques. Investigators associated with this study include: Dr Claire Jones, Dr Anna Leonard, and Professor Brian Freeman

Projects available for: Honours and HDR

Location: Helen Mayo North

Research Project Start: Semester 1

 

Project 2

Title: The impact of ageing and associated neuroinflammatory response following traumatic spinal cord injury

Description: Traumatic spinal cord injury primarily effects two key demographic groups; young males aged 15-25 due to motor vehicle accidents, and elderly patients aged >65 due to falls. Research suggests that the central nervous system changes as we age and that accordingly, our neuroinflammatory response can differ with ageing. Consequently, this may have significant impacts on the two age distinct cohorts of individuals who are at greatest risk of sustaining a traumatic spinal cord injury. This has great clinical significance, as novel treatments targeting neuroinflammatory processes post-SCI may work more or less efficaciously depending on the age of an individual. Accordingly, this project will investigate how age impacts the neuroinflammatory processes following traumatic spinal cord injury. This project will utilise a rodent model of SCI and involve a wide variety of experimental skills including animal surgery and care, western blots and immunohistochemistry. The ultimate aim of this study is to understand how neuroinflammation differs within varying age groups and the impact this may have on the outcome of spinal cord injury, with the view to inform clinical practices. Investigators associated with this include Dr Anna Leonard, Dr Lyndsey Collins-Praino and Dr Renee Turner

Projects available for: Honours and HDR

Location: Helen Mayo North

Research Project Start: Semester 1

 

My research program has been funded by the following grant schemes:

  • 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 the 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
  • HLTH SC 1005 - Principles of Human Health and Diseases

  • PATHOL 3200 - Neurological Diseases

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  • Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    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
  • Position: Lecturer
  • Phone: 83130671
  • Email: anna.leonard@adelaide.edu.au
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: Helen Mayo North, floor 2
  • Room: N2 41
  • Org Unit: Adelaide Medical School

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