Dr Anna Leonard, B. Health Science (Hons), PhD image

Dr Anna Leonard, B. Health Science (Hons), PhD

Lecturer, University of Adelaide, NRF Chair of Neurosurgical Research 2012 Student

Current position:

  • Lecturer, discipline of Anatomy and Pathology, University of Adelaide


  • Fresh Science Finalist
  • Women in Neurotrauma Research Visiting International Scholar Award (WiNTR VISA)
  • The University of Adelaide Doctoral Research Medal
  • Dean's Commendations for Doctoral Thesis Excellence

Why neurosurgical research?

"During my undergraduate studies (Bachelor of Health Sciences), I became very interested in neurotrauma research through my studies of pathology and neuroanatomy. Unfortunately, at this time a very close friend of mine was hit by a car, suffered a severe traumatic brain injury and subsequently passed away. The fact that very little could be done for her medically increased my interest and determination to contribute to the field of neurotrauma to improve treatment and outcome for patients. Professor Robert Vink was one of my lecturers at the time, who additionally sparked my interest in Neurotrauma research and I subsequently undertook an Honours degree under his supervision in 2007."

Research area:

"My research took a slight turn in 2009 when I began my PhD, still in the field of Neurotrauma but now focused on spinal cord injury research. My research focuses on understanding the development of secondary injury mechanisms following SCI and how these processes can be targeted to reduce damage and improve outcome. In particular, my research focuses on swelling (oedema) of the spinal cord after injury. Our latest project is investigating how expansion of the space in which the spinal cord lies can help to accommodate the swollen cord after an injury. This work involves a multidisciplinary team from various experts in Adelaide including basic neuroscientists, biomedical engineers and clinicians. This exciting work demonstrates the state of the art facilities used in Adelaide and the amazing local individuals who contribute to the research team."

Current research project title: 'Developing a large animal model of traumatic spinal cord injury for evaluation of duraplasty intervention.'


For a full list of Dr Leonard's publications, please visit her Google Scholar Page.

Corrigan F, Mander KA, Leonard AV, Vink R (2016). Neurogenic inflammation after traumatic brain injury and its potentiation of classical inflammation. Journal of neuroinflammation 13 (1), 264.

Leonard AV, Turner RJ (2016). Aquaporins within the Central Nervous System: Implications for Oedema Following Traumatic CNS Injury. Aquaporins in Health and Disease: New Molecular Targets for Drug Discovery. 205-215.

Leonard AV, Thornton E, Vink R (2015). The relative contribution of edema and hemorrhage to raised intrathecal pressure after traumatic spinal cord injury. Journal of Neurotrauma 32 (6), 397-402.
Leonard AV, Manavis J, Blumbergs PC, Vink R (2014). Changes in substance P and NK1 receptor immunohistochemistry following human spinal cord injury Spinal cord 52 (1), 17-23.

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