Our People

Romal Stewart

Dr | Research Officer

Cellular & Molecular Neurodegeneration


Doctor Romal Stewart is an early career Research Scientist who joined the Cellular and Molecular Neurodegeneration laboratory at QIMR Berghofer in 2019 upon completing his doctoral studies at the University of Queensland St. Lucia. Dr Stewart has developed several model systems such as primary human olfactory stem cells, induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) derived human brain endothelial cells and (iPSC) derived human brain organoids to elucidate the cellular and molecular basis of neurodegeneration observed in diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and neuro-COVID. His work has been presented on the ABC news, the QIMR podcast, the Bancroft society public seminar and the Brisbane cancer conference 2020. In addition he was awarded a SEED grant to bioengineer human immunocompetent brain organoids with a functional vascular system to enhance their use within the field and provide the basis for pre-clinical drug discovery and personalised medicine for various neurodegenerative diseases and neuro-COVID.


  • Establishment of 2D and 3D cell models for human brain endothelial cells, olfactory cells, mini-brain organoids and microglia enhanced organoids for various neurodegenerative diseases.
  • Utilising the above cellular models to understand the impact of environmental factors such as air pollution, SARS-CoV-2, and bushfire smoke on brain health.
  • Establishing a pipeline within QIMR Berghofer’s quarantine facility for high content screening of novel compounds for the treatment of COVID19.


  • Honorary Research Fellow, UQ Centre for Clinical Research, The University of Queensland
  • Honorary Research Fellow, Translational research institute
  • Research Officer, Cellular and Molecular Neurodegeneration QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute


  • 2012 BrashA-T Scholarship for Outstanding Academic Achievement
  • 2010 University Medal for Outstanding Academic Achievement
  • 2010 Dean’s Award for Academic excellence
  • 2010 BrashA-T Award for Academic excellence


  • 2021 QIMR Berghofer SEED grant, Principle investigator (AUD 50,000)
  • 2021 Multiple Sclerosis Australia Incubator grant, Co-investigator C (AUD 25,000)
  • 2020 QIMR Berghofer COVID research program, Co-investigator B (AUD 200,000)
  • 2019 QIMR Berghofer external relations Dementia research Special purpose donation (AUD 120,000)


  • 2019-Present, Research Officer – Cellular and Molecular Neurodegeneration Laboratory, QIMR Berghofer
  • 2017-2019, Research Assistant –Translational Neuroscience Laboratory, QIMR Berghofer
  • 2013-2017, Research Assistant/Laboratory manager – Clinical Tropical Medicine Laboratory, QIMR Berghofer


  • 2019 Doctor of Philosophy, Medicine, University of Queensland.
  • 2010 Bachelor of Biomedical Science Honours (Class 1), University of Southern Queensland.