Translational Neuroscience and Drug Repurposing


The vision and focus of our research group is to discover and clinically translate new disease-modifying treatments and biomarkers for progressive neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease (PD) and Motor Neuron Disease (MND). There are currently no effective treatments for these debilitating conditions and their prevalence is predicted to increase significantly in the coming decades. Therefore, there is an urgent need to identify new therapeutic targets and develop better treatments that can slow or halt disease progression.

Our research program utilises clinically-relevant models of human disease, as well as patient-derived samples to understand and define the primary pathological mechanisms involved in these conditions. We apply these novel insights to develop new therapeutic strategies that would enable us to slow or halt disease progression and thereby improve quality of life.

Dr Gordon is an Advance Queensland Mid-Career Fellow and Group Leader in Clinical Neuroscience at the UQ Centre for Clinical Research (UQCCR). He received his PhD in Immunology and Toxicology in 2012. His research career has focused on the crucial role of the innate immune system in driving pathological inflammation that is closely linked to progression of Parkinson’s disease. Dr Gordon’s research has contributed to several important advances in his field which have been published in prestigious scientific journals including Nature Communications and Science Translational Medicine. Dr Gordon is also a Certified Toxicologist (ABT) and a member of the Gene Technology Technical Advisory Committee (GTTAC) that provides scientific and technical advice to the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR) and the Legislative and Governance Forum on Gene Technology.


+61 7 3346 6081

Lab Head


Current students

  • Hannah Sazon – Summer Research Scholar

Previous lab members

  • Caryse Fong (Summer Research Scholar)
  • Sophia Kim (Summer Research Scholar)
  • Ashleigh Hicks (Research Assistant)

Our research employs multidisciplinary methods which include pharmacology, neuroscience, and immunology projects. In collaboration with industry partners we also utilise cutting-edge Artificial Intelligence (AI) based approaches to enable us to identify new drugs and therapeutic targets.

Below is a summary of our research projects:

  • Validation of novel therapeutic targets for neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration
  • Repurposing of drugs for progressive neurodegenerative diseases
  • Discovery and validation of clinical biomarkers for neurodegenerative diseases
  • Neuroinflammatory mechanisms that drive disease progression
  • Application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies for therapeutic development

We are always keen to recruit curious, passionate and enthusiastic students, researchers and scientific entrepreneurs to join our team. Please get in touch with Richard to discuss support for PhD, Honours, Masters and international exchange programs. We are also able to provide research support for visiting scholars and research fellows.

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Cooling 'brains on fire' to treat Parkinson's 

A promising new therapy to stop Parkinson’s disease in its tracks has been developed at The University of Queensland.

UQCCR Group Leader in Clinical Neuroscience Dr Richard Gordon said the findings provide exciting new insight into how the spread of toxic proteins occurs in Parkinson’s disease and highlights the important role of the immune system in this process.