Dr. Jana Vukovic PhD
Viertel Senior Medical Research Fellow
Faculty of Medicine (Biomedical Sciences) | Queensland Brain Institute
The University of Queensland
Brisbane (QLD), Australia

A/Prof Jana Vukovic heads the Neuroimmunology and Cognition team investigating the interactions between the brain and the immune system in health and disease. The Vukovic laboratory investigates how brain function is sculpted and influenced by the immune system. Specifically, her lab examines the role of brain’s main resident immune cell population (i.e., microglia), as well as various peripheral immune cells, on learning and memory in mice. They’re interested in defining the contribution of immune cells to cognitive tasks where learning and memory deficits can occur, e.g., following brain injury, cancer treatment, and ageing. The goal of the work is to link cellular and molecular events to altered behaviour, and to harness the brain’s intrinsic regenerative potential for stimulating optimal cognitive function.

A/Prof Vukovic received her PhD in 2008 from The University of Western Australia after working on the repair of injured nerve cell connections. She joined the Queensland Brain Institute at The University of Queensland (Australia) in 2009 to work in Professor Perry Bartlett’s laboratory before being awarded a Queensland Government Smart Futures Fellowship to continue her research into the importance of adult neurogenesis for behaviour and how microglia influence this process in ageing. Dr Vukovic was awarded an ARC DECRA (2015-2018) and was jointly appointed as a group leader by the University of Queensland’s School of Biomedical Sciences (Faculty of Medicine) and the Queensland Brain Institute in 2015. In 2020, Dr Vukovic was awarded the Viertel Senior Medical Fellowship to investigate the role of microglia and inflammatory processes following brain injury.