Our People

Michelle Lupton

Associate Professor | Senior Research Officer

Genetic Epidemiology

Michelle.Lupton@qimrberghofer.edu.au

 

WORK HISTORY

Associate Professor Michelle Lupton’s area of expertise is genetics of neurodegenerative and psychiatric disease, with her main focus on Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

Michelle is currently holds a Boosting Dementia Leadership fellowship from the NHMRC and is the genetics and epidemiology analyst for the Prospective Imaging Study of Aging: Genes, Brain and Behaviour (PISA). She also works on both elderly and young population based cohorts including OATS (Older Australian Twin Study), MAS (Sydney Memory and Aging Study) and QTIM (Queensland Twin Imaging) focusing on brain phenotypes including MRI measures.

In 2012 Michelle emigrated from the UK to Australia in 2012. In the UK during my PhD and first post doc I worked with leading groups in Alzheimer’s disease Genome Wide Association Studies including GERAD (Genetic and Environmental Risk in Alzheimer’s disease) and AddNeuroMed (Innovative Medicines (InnoMed) in Europe) cohorts with collaborative projects continuing to the present time.

 

CURRENT APPOINTMENTS

2020-current: Honorary Senior Fellow, School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Queensland (UQ)

2018-current: Adjunct Associate Professor, School of Biomedical Sciences at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) 

2017-current: Senior Research Officer in the Genetic Epidemiology group headed by Professor Nick Martin at QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute

 

PREVIOUS APPOINTMENTS

2015-2019: Visiting Academic in the Imaging Genomics Group at the Queensland Brain Institute and Centre for Advanced Imaging headed by Associate Professor Margie Wright at the University of Queensland

2015-2017: Research Officer in Neuroimaging Genetics group headed by Associate Professor Margie Wright (11/2012-06/2015), and Genetic Epidemiology headed by Professor Nick Martin at QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute

2009-2012: Post-doctoral Research Worker, Kings College London (KCL), UK 

2011-2012: Demonstrator for Advanced Research Methods, Psychology Undergraduate and Certificate Programme at Birkbeck University of London, UK 

2006-2009: MRC capacity building PhD Studentship in Neuroscience at KCL 

2004-2006: Research Assistant, Medical and Molecular Genetics, KCL 

 

ORCID NUMBER

0000-0002-7274-7299

 

CURRENT AREA OF RESEARCH

Associate Professor Lupton’s current research focus is the investigation of genetic variation associated with Alzheimer’s disease in healthy individuals. This work aims to improve understanding of the early effect of AD genetic risk factors, and identify biomarkers before clinical diagnosis.

She uses polygenic risk score approaches to investigate causal relationships between phenotypes and co-morbid diseases. She carries out statistical association analysis for both common and rare genetic variation and is proficient in the analysis and imputation of GWAS data and next generation sequencing data analysis pipelines. She also has extensive wet lab experience and have coordinated DNA samples and datasets for large cohorts, liaising with national and international collaborators.

 

RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTS

Michelle’s current h-index is 36. She has 55 peer reviewed publications, including 2 review articles, and 53 original research articles (40 as a named author, and 14 within consortia). Many of which are in high impact journals (NEJM (1), Nature (1), Nature Genetics (5), Mol Psychiatry (3)). Presently she has 1 senior author and 8 first author publications, with an additional first author publication currently under review.

 

PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS

  • Member of the National Institute for Dementia Research (NNIDR) Early/Mid-career Accelerator Working Group (providing capacity building and career support to NNIDR’s cohort of Development Fellows in Australia)
  • Chair of the QIMRB Berghofer Mental Health program Education Committee
  • Member of the Australian Society for Medical Research (ASMR), the International Society to Advance Alzheimer’s Research and Treatment (ISTAART), the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG), and the Australian Epigenetics Alliance (AEpiA)

 

AWARDS RECOGNITION

2019-2021: NHMRC Project grant “Genetic and lifestyle susceptibility and resilience factors affecting rates of change in preclinical Alzheimer’s disease” (Associate Investigator).

2018-2021: NHMRC Boosting Dementia Leadership Fellowship

2018: Dementia Australia Research Foundation Project Grant “Methylation-based biomarkers for prodromal Alzheimer’s disease”

2018: Special Purpose Private Donation, QIMR Berghofer “Methylation-based biomarkers for prodromal Alzheimer’s disease” 

2017-2018: QIMR Berghofer Seed funding grant “”Methylation-based biomarkers for prodromal Alzheimer’s disease” 

2016: The Australian Society for Medical Research Senior Researcher Award Finalist

2014-2015: QIMR Berghofer Seed funding grant “”The effects of Alzheimer’s risk variants in TREM2 in healthy people”  (sole chief investigator)

2012-2016: QIMR Early Career Postdoctoral Fellowship from the Perpetual Foundation 

2012-2015: Early Career Postdoctoral Fellowship from the Perpetual Foundation (John Thomas Wilson Endowment) 

2011: International Congress of Human Genetics trainee research award semi-finalist 

2009: Kings College London Health Schools graduate showcase oral presentation prize (2009)

2007: National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Centre Genetics call (UK) “An investigation of how multiple rare alleles in the ABCA1 gene contribute to risk Alzheimer’s disease” 2007 (co-investigator)

 

EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND

2010: PhD Neuroscience, Kings College London (KCL), UK

2003: BSc Honours Human Genetics, University of Nottingham, UK