Wicking Dementia Research & Education Centre
University of Tasmania
Duncan is a lecturer in the Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre. He works with volunteer participants, human cultured cells and post-mortem tissues to investigate how our stress response changes as we age, and how these changes influence our brain structure and function. Duncan is particularly interested in stress-related factors (molecular, cellular, genetic and lifestyle) which influence a person’s resilience, modify their risk of dementia, contribute to dementia pathology and could be targeted therapeutically to promote healthy aging.
In the fire research area, Duncan is undertaking a project supported by a UTAS Community Engagement Grant, in collaboration with researchers from the Australian Maritime College and the College of Science and Engineering. This project involves working alongside communities in Tasmania to explore the potential of a prospective longitudinal study of natural disaster exposure, resilience, health and aging. The aim of this future study would be develop and implement strategies for fostering resilience in individuals and communities across Tasmania, then to measure their effectiveness. In the current exploratory phase, consultations are underway to identify individual and community needs and develop a framework for co-design of a future study. Opportunities for synergy with the Wicking Centre’s recently launched Island Project (Island Study LinkingAgeing and Neurodegenerative Disease) are also being explored.