Department: Comparative Biomedical Sciences

Campus: Camden

Research Groups: Cardiovascular and Renal Biology, Brain Health and Behaviour, CPCS (Research Programme)

Dr Helen Stolp – Lecturer in Pharmacology

Helen studies mechanisms of normal and abnormal brain development, with the aim of producing targeted therapeutic and diagnostic tools. Identification of periods of plasticity and susceptibility in the developing brain, focused on early neurogenesis, dendritic arborisation and connectivity, angiogenesis, and blood-brain barrier development in the cortex, with a particularly interest in the trajectory of disrupted development across time. 

Helen Stolp graduated from the University of Tasmania with a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in 2001. She was awarded a Melbourne Research Scholarship and PhD position in the Department of Pharmacology, University of Melbourne in 2002, completed in 2006. She undertook post-doctoral research at the University of Melbourne, University of Oxford and King’s College London before being appointed to a lectureship at the Royal Veterinary College in London in 2017.

Helen is a member of the Editorial Board for Fluids and Barriers in the CNS.

Helen’s research aims to understand the pathophysiology of neurodevelopmental injury, and to utilise this knowledge to target therapeutic and diagnostic tools. Her work has focused on the role of inflammation in normal and pathological neurodevelopment.

Research projects have been focused on the perinatal response to inflammation, and associated alterations in cortical development. These discoveries have relevance for our understanding of neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism and cerebral palsy. The group is pursuing novel therapies to ameliorate these injuries.

Helen is also collaborating with researchers at the University of Oxford and the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro to study the effect of ZIKA infection on neurovascular development and microcephaly, and changes in vascular susceptibility to injury during the period of brain development.

In addition, she is working with a team of MRI experts and computer scientists to establish a new pipeline for linking microstructural neuropathology with state-of-the-art MR imaging. This pipeline is being used to explore both the basic underpinning of MRI and develop disease targeted biomarkers.

Goikolea-Vives A, Stolp HB. Connecting the Neurobiology of Developmental Brain Injury: Neuronal Arborisation as a Regulator of Dysfunction and Potential Therapeutic Target. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2021; 22(15):8220.

Fleiss B, Gressens P, Stolp HB. Cortical Gray Matter Injury in Encephalopathy of Prematurity: Link to Neurodevelopmental Disorders. Front Neurol. 2020 Jul 14;11:575.

Stolp HB, Fleiss B, Arai Y, Supramaniam V, Vontell R, Birtles S, Yates AG, Baburamani AA, Thornton C, Rutherford M, Edwards AD, Gressens P.
Interneuron Development Is Disrupted in Preterm Brains With Diffuse White Matter Injury: Observations in Mouse and Human.
Front Physiol. 2019 Jul 30;10:955. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2019.00955 

Stolp, H.B.,Ball, G., So, P-W., Tounier, J-D., Jones, M., Thornton, C., Edwards, A.D.
Voxel-wise comparisons of cellular microstructure and diffusion-MRI in mouse hippocampus using 3D Bridging of Optically-clear histology with Neuroimaging Data (3D-BOND).
Scientific Reports (2018), 8: 4011.

Garcez, PP., Stolp. HB., Sravanam, S., Dias, AA, Drumond, J., Higa LM., Christoff, RR., Hoerder-Suabedissen, A, Victorino, C., Tovar-Moll, F., Bellio, M., Tanuri, A, Lent, R., Molnár, Z. (2018)
Zika virus impairs the development of blood vessels in a mouse model of congenital infection. Scientific Reports

Sá-Pereira I., Roodselaar J., Couch Y., Kronka Sosthenes M.C., Evans M.C., Anthony D.C., Stolp H.B. (2018) Hepatic acute phase response protects the brain from focal inflammation during postnatal window of susceptibility. Brain Behaviour and Immunity 69: 486-489.

Helen teaches on a number of courses at the college, primarily related to her research disaplines of pharmacology and neuroscience. She is co-Year Leader for the 2nd year of the Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine course and Unit Lead for Principles of Pharmacology in the Graduate Accelerated BVM and BSc courses. 

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