Professor Nicolas Cherbuin

Head, Centre for Research on Ageing, Health and Wellbeing
ANU College of Health and Medicine

Areas of expertise

  • Mental Health 111714
  • Epidemiology 111706
  • Geriatrics And Gerontology 110308
  • Biological Psychology (Neuropsychology, Psychopharmacology, Physiological Psychology) 170101
  • Neurosciences 1109
  • Developmental Psychology And Ageing 170102

Research interests

Prof Cherbuin's main interests relate to the investigation of genetic, environmental, health, lifestyle, and personality factors which influence brain health and plasticity throughout the lifespan, but particularly in ageing populations, and to study how cerebral structure and changes in structure relate to cognition and degenerative diseases. To research these questions he uses large epidemiological datasets and advanced statistical and neuroimaging techniques. Another research focus is the early screening and identification of individuals at risk of cognitive impairment and dementia as well as the identification of associated risk and protective factors. Nic is involved in several randomised controlled trials aimed at decreasing risk of brain and cognitive ageing, and dementia.


Prof Cherbuin heads the Centre for Research on Ageing, Health and Wellbeing (CRAHW) where he leads the NeuroIMaging and Brain Lab (NIMBL). He was awarded a PhD in 2006 at ANU. His doctoral thesis focused on factors affecting hemispheric interactions. From 2006 until 2008 he was the recipient of an Alzheimer's Australia Research Fellowship. In 2007, he was awarded a NHMRC Training Fellowship to investigate associations between pre-frontal function and structure and cognition and in 2012 he was awarded an ARC Future Fellowship to investigate theoretical models of age- and disease-related changes in brain structure and cognition.

Nic is a chief investigator on the 2015 NHMRC Centre for Excellence in Cognitive Health and a senior chief investigator on a large NHMRC-funded longitudinal study of ageing and mental health, the PATH Through Life study, based at ANU.

Available student projects

A number of potential PhD projects are available to motivated individuals with a background in Psychology, Neuroscience, and other related areas who are interested in investigating associations between cognition, health, laterality and cerebral structure using neuroimaging data

Current student projects

Mark Fraser (PhD candidate) is investigating hippocampal structure in normal ageing using longitudinal data from the PATH project

Hossein Tabatabaei (PhD candidate) researches structural brain changes detectable in the early stages of dementia.

Tianqi Zhang (PhD candidate) is characterising brain differences in type 2 diabetes using shape analysis, and longitudinal methods.

Daniela Oryace (PhD candidate) investigates the associations between the brain behaviour control system (BIS/BAS/FFFS) and their cerebral structural correlates.

Ananthan Ambikarajah (PhD candidate) investigates how body fat is modulated by menopause and how these changes impact cerebral health and cognition.

Khawlah Alateeq (PhD candidate) is evaluating the impact of hypertension and variability in blood pressure on cerebral health.

Sarina Macklin is investigating whether a herbal compound frequently used in Chinese medicine, Rhemannia Glutinosa, is protective for mental and physical health.

Past student projects

Dr Prapti Gautam (PhD 2012). “An investigation into the structural variability of the prefrontal cortex and its relationship to cognition and ageing”


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Updated:  25 April 2024 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers