Researcher

Dr Moyra Mortby

Field of Research (FoR)

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Biography

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...view more

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.


My Grants

Fellowships:

  • 2016-2019: NHMRC-ARC Research Development Dementia Fellowship 'BPSD-CARE: A person-centred approach to managing behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia in residential care (re-named BPSDPLUS Program)'.
  • 2014-2015: Alzheimer’s Australia Dementia Research Foundation Part Postdoctoral Fellowship 'Apathy in Mild Cognitive Impairment and Clinically Normal Elderly: a biomarker of and risk factor for brain structure, cognitive trajectories and apathetic symptom progression?'.

 

Grants:

  • 2019: UNSW Ageing Futures Institute Small Project Award 'Lifeline Collaboration: Understanding Dementia Literacy amongst Lifeline Volunteers' Lead Investigator.
  • 2014-2016: Alzheimer’s Australia Dementia Research Foundation Hazel Hawke Research Grant in Dementia Care 'Carer Characteristics and Behavioural and Psychological Symptoms: a Pilot StudyLead Investigator.
  • 2015: Dementia Collaborative Research Centres 'Attitudes toward people with dementia - a nationally representative survey of 1000 Australians' Co-Lead Investigator.
  • 2014: Dementia Collaborative Research Centres 'Carer Characteristics and Care-recipient Behavioural and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia' Lead Investigator.
  • 2012: Dementia Collaborative Research Centres 'Stroke, Depression and Cogntive Decline'. Co-Investigator.

 

Associate Investigator:

  • 2019-2024: NHMRC Boosting Dementia Research Grants Priority Round 5 Implementing Dementia Risk Reduction and Prevention Research 'Translating the evidence on dementia risk reduction to generate assessments, advice and training for health professionals, policy makers, patients and public'. Lead CI: Kaarin Anstey.
  • 2019-2023: NHMRC Boosting Dementia Research Grants NHMRC-EU Joint Programme-Neurodegenerative Disease Research (JPND) 'Self-management and HeAlth Promotion in early-stage dementia with E-learning for carers – A randomised controlled trial (SHAPE)'. Lead CI: Kaarin Anstey.
  • 2019-2025: UNSW Ageing Futures Institute. Lead CI: Kaarin Anstey. 

My Qualifications

2012: PhD in Psychology, University of Zurich, Switzerland. Laudatio: Magna Cum Laude.

2007: MSc in Psychologicial Research Methods, Keele University, United Kingdom.

2006: BSc in Criminology and Psychology (Dual Honours), Keele University, United Kingdom.


My Awards

2016: Alzheimer's Australia ACT Dementia Champion.

2015International Society to Advance Alzheimer’s Research and Treatment (ISTAART) and the Neuropsychiatric Syndromes (NPS) in Neurodegenerative diseases Professional Interest Area (PIA) New Investigator Award.

2015Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) Travel Fellowship. 

2012: Australian National University Vice-Chancellor Travel Grant.

2009: Society for the Study of Human Development Conference Registration Award.

2009: University of Zurich Fakultäres Mentoring Auslands-Kurz-Mentorate and der Philosophischen Fakultät.

2009: University of Michigan International Max Planck Research School on the Life Course University of Michigan Research Stay Grant.


My 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].

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