Dr Adam Vogel

Dr Adam Vogel
The University of Melbourne
Research Field: Behavioural Neuroscience

People with progressive brain disorder often experience difficulties speaking, eating and drinking. Despite the critical importance of these skills for daily life, little research exists on how communication and swallowing deteriorates over time in this group of disorders. Importantly, how we then respond to this change to effectively treat these problems is even less well understood.

Dr Vogel’s group seeks to overcome these difficulties by approaching progressive brain diseases in three ways. Initially, they work with mice models of the diseases to achieve a better understanding of the effectiveness of treatments. Secondly, they are working towards translating these findings into a human context. For example; investigating how swallowing and communication problems develop over time and how to best treat these disorders across a range of degenerative diseases including Friedreich ataxia, dementia, and Huntington’s disease. Lastly they examine the broader impact of swallowing and communication disorders on society with a focus on the prejudices and barriers that exist for individuals with communication and swallowing related impairments.

Adam has been interviewed by The Age, NineMSN and the BBC’s science magazine “Focus” and a live drive time interview on Sydney’s 2UE. Adam has also written articles for “The Conversation” on topics of interest to a wider audience. He is the writer/producer of a documentary entitled “Hip Hop Hypothesis” following a group of neuroscientists and hip hop artists in their quest to discover what makes the brains of ‘super speakers’ different from others.

He also regularly engages with patient support groups associated with his clinical work. (eg, Friedreich Ataxia Association, Spinocerebellar Association) seeking to increase awareness of the disease in community. Adam participated in the Speech Pathology Australia national campaign, “Real men do Speech Pathology” to encourage men into a profession overwhelmingly occupied by women.

Adam’s University of Melbourne profile

2013