Professor Bryce Vissel
Director, Centre for Neuroscience & Regenerative Medicine
Professor Vissel is an Australian neuroscientist who is professor of neuroscience at the University of Technology Sydney. He is a specialist in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, and spinal cord injuries, as well as studying the neural basis of learning, memory and movement.
After achieving his PhD in medical genetics at the University of Melbourne, Professor Vissel joined the Garvan Institute's Neuroscience Division. He was subsequently awarded a NHMRC CJ Martin Fellowship to pursue neuroscience research with Stephen Heinemann at the Salk Institute. At Salk, Vissel authored studies describing molecular mechanisms that regulate synaptic function, and the role of these mechanisms in behaviour, learning and memory, and neurological diseases. He also received a Human Frontiers Program Award and a Fulbright Award.
In 2002, Vissel returned to Garvan, taking up a position as Head of the Neurodegenerative Diseases Group before being recruited by UTS. Professor Vissel and UTS established the CNRM in 2017. Incorporating facilities in Botany and St Vincent’s Hospital, the Centre focuses on research of the brain and spinal cord.
Under Vissel's leadership, the CNRM’s Brain Regeneration Program has shown that repair appears possible in the Ca1 and CA3 regions of the hippocampus, the brain’s memory centre. These findings have potential to impact treatment of a range of diseases through stimulating the brain’s regenerative mechanisms, including Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, and other devastating conditions.
Vissel was instrumental in bringing UCLA-based scientist Professor Reggie Edgerton's pioneering work on spinal cord injuries to Australia, where they plan to conduct the first neurostimulation studies in the Southern Hemisphere.
Vissel is currently Chair of the Advisory Board of Cellmid Ltd, a position he has held since July 2015.
Professor Reggie Edgerton
Distinguished Professor of Spinal Cord Injury
Professor Edgerton is a global leader in neuroscience whose revolutionary non-invasive surgical techniques that stimulate the injured spinal cord are showing results unprecedented in medical science:
- His discoveries and techniques have enabled 20 patients paralysed through chronic spinal cord injury to regain movement in their limbs. They have experienced a restoration of feeling and function
- At a trial in his lab, six people with severe spinal cord injuries regained use of their hands and fingers for the first time in years after undergoing a non-surgical, non-invasive neurostimulation treatment course. This represents the largest recovery of the use of hands ever reported in patients with such severe spinal cord injuries
- Of eight patients who recovered upper extremity functionality, seven also reported improvements in trunk stability and four in lower extremities such as hips and ankles. One regained sexual function and another improved their bowel control. These patients had received their spinal cord injury up to 21 years earlier.
Professor Edgerton’s research focuses on:
- How neural networks in the lumbar spinal cord of humans can regain control of standing, stepping and voluntary control of fine movements after paralysis
- How these motor functions can be modified by imposing activity-dependent interventions over time after spinal cord injury.
Professor Edgerton has a dual role at UTS and the University of California Los Angeles, where he is Director of the Neuroscience Research Laboratory and Distinguished Professor of the Departments of Integrative Biology and Physiology, Neurobiology and Neurosurgery. He has taught at UCLA for more than 40 years.
Professor Edgerton received his PhD in Exercise Physiology from Michigan State University, a Masters from the University of Iowa and Bachelor of Science from East Carolina University.