MBC-RMH Key People


Professor Stephen Davis

Professor Davis is the Director of the MBC-RM. He is the inaugural Professor of Translational Neuroscience at the University of Melbourne. At RMH, he is Director of Neurosciences and Continuing Care at RMH and Director of Neurology. 

He is the immediate past-President of the Australian and New Zealand Association of Neurologists (ANZAN) and a past-President of the Stroke Society of Australasia. He was the first Co-chair of the Australasian Stroke Trials network and Co-Chair of the World Stroke Academy. 

In 2012, he was appointed President of the World Stroke Organization. He is the Co-Chair, with Professor Geoffrey Donnan, of Neuroscience Trials Australia (NTA) and has been a trustee of The Royal Melbourne Hospital Neuroscience Foundation since its formation in 1992. 

He is a Consulting Editor for Stroke and Associate Editor for Cerebrovascular Diseases. His major research interests involve clinical trials in stroke and the use of neuroimaging, particularly multimodal MRI, in the selection of acute stroke treatments.


Associate Professor Bernard Yan

Associate Professor Yan is a Neurointerventionist and Neurologist and founder of the Telestroke Service at The Royal Melbourne Hospital. He is Director of The University of Melbourne ACTION Course in China (operational since 2010). 

He is Treasurer of the Stroke Society of Australasia, Chair of the Australasian Stroke Trials Network and a board member of the World Stroke Organization. 

He is interested in developing novel devices for the treatment of acute stroke and aneurysms and is the co-inventor of endovascular devices, including Neuroglide. 

His research also includes investigating genetic influences on therapeutic responsiveness to medications and wireless accelerometry devices for monitoring motor recovery post stroke.


Multiple Sclerosis

Professor Trevor Kilpatrick

Professor Kilpatrick is a Professor of Neurology and Director of the Centre for Neuroscience and the Melbourne Neuroscience Institute at The University of Melbourne. He is the leader of the MS Division at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health and is a neurologist and Head of the MS Unit at The Royal Melbourne Hospital. 

Professor Kilpatrick’s basic research interests include oligodendrocyte biology and neuroinflammation as well as regenerative medicine and its application to MS. His translational research interests include the development of neuroprotective therapies and of novel paradigms by which to test such therapies in proof of principle studies and his clinical research has included cohort studies that have identified genetic determinants of MS susceptibility, work that is now extending to an analysis of the genetic determinants of disease severity.


Professor Helmut Butzkueven

Professor Butzkueven is joint Director of the MS Service at The Royal Melbourne Hospital and Director of the MS service at Box Hill Hospital, Melbourne, Australia. He is a Professor in the Department of Medicine, University of Melbourne and a Deputy Director of the MBC-RMH. He is the Chairman of the MSBase Foundation (www.msbase.org) that funds and administers a global online MS cohort study with more than 20 300 patients enrolled in 64 centres across 27 countries.

His research interests focus on two areas of Multiple Sclerosis Research; development of new biomarkers for axonal degeneration in MS and understanding the effects of MS risk genes.


Brain Tumors

Professor Andrew Kaye

Professor Kaye is the James Stewart Professor of Surgery, Head of the Department of Surgery (RMH) at The University of Melbourne and Head of the Department of Neurosurgery at The Royal Melbourne Hospital. He is the President of the Asian Australasian Society of Neurological Surgeons and for the past ten years he has been the Chairman of the Board of Examiners for final year Medicine at the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences at The University of Melbourne. In 2010 he was appointed by the New Zealand Government to Chair the Board of the New Zealand South Island Neurosurgery Service. 

He is the foundation Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Clinical Neuroscience and has authored and co-authored over 150 journal articles and book chapters, as well as five books including being the co-author of “Brain Tumours”, a text recognized as being the definitive work on the subject. 

His main clinical and research interest involves neuro-oncology and cerebrovascular disease.


Associate Professor Kate Drummond

Associate Professor Drummond is a Neurosurgeon at The Royal Melbourne Hospital, Associate Professor at The University of Melbourne and a Deputy Director of the MBC-RMH. She has published more than 40 peer reviewed articles, many book chapters and is frequently invited to speak nationally and internationally. She has led the multidisciplinary brain tumour service with Professor Mark Rosenthal in a number of international brain tumour research programs, including initiating a number of important clinical trials at The Royal Melbourne Hospital. 

The brain tumour service specializes in “first-in human” Phase I trials of novel agents, and also functions as a brain tumour bank, collecting tissue and data on all consenting brain tumour patients. Associate Professor Drummond’s chief research and clinical interests are in the biology and management of brain tumours.



Professor Terence O'Brien

Professor O’Brien is the James Stewart Professor of Medicine, Head of The Department of Medicine (Royal Melbourne Hospital) at The University of Melbourne and Consultant Neurologist at The Royal Melbourne Hospital, Victoria, Australia. He leads a large translational research team undertaking both basic studies, involving animal models, and clinical studies. 

He is a specialist in neurology and clinical pharmacology, with particular expertise in epileptology, anti-epileptic drugs and in-vivo imaging in animal models and humans. His key research goals are to identify novel treatment approaches for epilepsy and the associated neuropsychiatric co-morbidities, and to identify biomarkers – clinical, imaging, electrophysiological and genomic – of treatment in individual patients.


Professor Patrick Kwan

Professor Kwan is Chair of Neurology at the University of Melbourne (RMH), and Consultant Neurologist and Head of Epilepsy at The Royal Melbourne Hospital. He is a medical specialist in neurology and an international authority in epileptology and antiepileptic drug development. 

Professor Kwan’s research portfolio encompasses both applied basic science and clinical aspects to improve the treatment outcomes of epilepsy. His research is focused on understanding the effects of long term treatment, identifying factors that affect outcomes, mechanisms of drug resistance, identifying novel molecular targets for the treatment and prevention of epilepsy and translating research findings into the practice of personalized medicine for epilepsy.


Movement Disorders

Doctor Andrew Evans

Dr. Andrew Evans is Director of the Movement Disorders Program at The Royal Melbourne Hospital and a Consultant Neurologist with the Melbourne Neuropsychiatric Centre. 

His area of research interest includes nonmotor aspects of Parkinson’s Disease (particularly impulsive and compulsive behaviours, affective disorders and pain), Tourette’s syndrome and the use of botulinum toxin in the treatment of dystonia and tremor disorders. 

He has published over 60 papers on a range of topics in Movement Disorders.


Doctor Wesley Thevathasan

Dr. Thevathasan relocated from Oxford to Melbourne in mid-2011 and set up his research at the MBC @ RMH. He is a Consultant Neurologist at The Royal Melbourne Hospital and Honorary Consultant Neurologist and visiting research lecturer at the University of Oxford. 

Dr. Thevathasan works in collaboration with teams at the Bionics Institute, Melbourne and Experimental Neurology Group, University of Oxford and Asia-Pacific Centre of Neuromodulation, The University of Queensland. 

His research aims to clarify the mechanisms of deep brain stimulation (DBS) using experimental neurophysiological techniques with the ultimate goal of enhancing therapeutic efficacy.


Alzheimer's Disease

Professor Colin Masters

In 1984, Beyreuther and Masters purified and sequenced the amyloid constituent of the plaque in Alzheimer’s disease, and three years later, their group used this sequence to clone the gene encoding the Aβ amyloid peptide located on chromosome 21. These studies demonstrated that the Aβ amyloid was derived by proteolytic cleavage of a neuronal transmembrane receptor.

Subsequent studies by many groups has shown that a variety of Aβ-amyloid oligomers lie at the centre of AD pathogenesis, and these are now the validated primary targets for both diagnostic and therapeutic strategies. Masters and Beyreuther therefore defined the principal molecular and genetic pathways leading to the current Aβ amyloid theory of causation of Alzheimer’s disease.

More recent studies from Masters and colleagues have also demonstrated the time-course over which the Aβ accumulates in the evolution of Alzheimer’s disease, using molecular PET- Aβ imaging, allowing the preclinical and prodromal stages to be identified during life. They have also identified some of the genetic determinants which affect the rates of cognitive decline. These insights into the natural history of Alzheimer’s disease will have a major impact on clinical trial design and provide prognostic information for subjects at risk.



Professor Patricia Desmond

Professor Desmond is the Edgar Rouse Professor, Head of The University of Melbourne Department of Radiology and Director of the Department of Radiology at The Royal Melbourne Hospital.

She is a well established neuroradiologist, recognised as a specialist in neuroimaging, a field in which she has published effectively and extensively. Her skills have been recognised by Outstanding Teacher Awards in the Master of Medicine Program at The University of Melbourne. 

Professor Desmond is a Fellow of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists and supports the discipline as an Examiner of the College, by extensive committee memberships including as past Secretary of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Neuroradiology, as Associate Editor of Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiotherapy (JMIRO) and as a reviewer of clinical neuroscience publications and research grants.

Her research interests include advancing diagnostic imaging techniques in stroke, dementia, brain tumours and epilepsy.


Doctor Chris Steward