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Dr Moyra Mortby

Dr Moyra Mortby
+61 (2) 9399 1147

Dr Moyra Mortby is a senior research fellow in the School of Psychology, Faculty of Science, UNSW Sydney. She holds a conjoint appointment with Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) and is an Associate Investigator of the UNSW Ageing Futures Institute.

Dr Mortby was awarded her PhD with Laudatio Magna Cum Laude from the University of Zurich, Switzerland (2012). During her post-doctoral research, she retrained in advanced neuroimaging techniques to complement her research skills in psychology.

Dr Mortby is an NHMRC-ARC Dementia Research Development Fellow and previously held a fellowship from the Alzheimer's Australia Dementia Research Foundation. She is the recipient of the 2015 Alzheimer’s Association’s International Society to US Advance Alzheimer’s International Society to Advance Alzheimer's Research and Treatment Neuropsychiatric Syndromes Professional Interest Area (ISTAART NPS PIA) New Investigator Award for demonstrated research commitment to the field of neuropsychiatric symptoms in dementia.

Dr Mortby holds key international committee roles including the position of Vice Chair of the US ISTAART NPS PIA and Chair of the Apathy Working Group of the US ISTAART NPS PIA.

Research activities

Dr Mortby leads an internationally respected and impactful research program on neuropsychiatric symptoms across the cognitive spectrum.

Dr Mortby’s research program provides an exceptional body of knowledge and health gain, focusing on identifying dementia risk factors to develop approaches to 1) reduce/delay severe symptomatology and disease progression; 2) alleviate the impact of dementia/ neuropsychiatric symptoms on carer wellbeing; and 3) inform opinion, practice and policy of mitigation strategies.

Dr Mortby has led the neuropsychiatric symptoms research focus in an internationally recognised Australian longitudinal study (PATH Through Life), documenting significant opportunities for: 1) more rigorous identification of NPS as an early marker of dementia risk; 2) improved estimation and assessment of neuropsychiatric symptoms in pre-clinical populations; and 3) improved identification of neuropsychiatric symptoms as an intervention target for dementia risk reduction. She developed a novel theoretical model, identifying a bi-directional relationship between carer characteristics and care-recipient neuropsychiatric symptoms, providing a new target for intervention and risk reduction [Funding: Dementia Collaborative Research Centres, 2014, CIA; Alzheimer’s Australia Dementia Research Foundation Hazel Hawke Research Grant in Dementia Care, 2014, CIA]. Over the past 4 years she has developed and led an innovative person-centred training and intervention program to reduce the impact of NPS in residential aged care [Funding: NHMRC-ARC Dementia Research Development Fellowship, 2016-2019, CIA].

Selected Publications

Book Chapters

Mortby ME; Anstey KJ, 2016, 'Mental Health and Ageing', in Encyclopedia of Geropsychology, Springer