Dr Malvindar Singh-Bains, Ph.D | Research Fellow

Affiliation: Centre for Brain Research | University of Auckland | Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences

Link to group website: Website 


My research aims to identify new targets for therapeutic intervention strategies in neurodegenerative conditions including Huntington’s Disease (HD), X-Linked Dystonia Parkinsonism (XDP) and Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). I am currently investigating neurodegeneration, neurovascular unit changes and pathogenic protein pathology in HD, XDP and AD human brains using tissue bequeathed to the Neurological Foundation of New Zealand Human Brain Bank. I completed my PhD in Biomedical Science at the University of Auckland in 2014, with experience in gross macro and microscopic human brain neuroanatomy, human brain dissection, Human Brain Bank tissue processing, design-based stereological quantification, immunohistochemistry, and microscopy. Since the commencement of my first post-doctoral fellowship in 2015, my techniques have expanded to include the development of a platform to prepare, construct and conduct high-throughput automated analysis of human brain tissue microarrays for neurodegenerative disease drug development. Since the completion of my PhD, I have been awarded >NZ$600,000 in post-doctoral fellowship funding and have been a Named Investigator or Principal Investigator on awarded projects totalling >NZ$5.7M of research funding. I have published in world-leading journals including Nature Protocols, EMBO, and Annals of Neurology.

Currently I am collaborating with highly acclaimed Auckland-based researchers including Distinguished Professor Sir Richard Faull and Professor Mike Dragunow. In addition, I also collaborate internationally with researchers at Harvard, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Boston), Makati Medical Centre (Philippines) and École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (Lausanne, Switzerland). I am also a founding member of the Huntington’s Disease Youth Organisation of New Zealand, a registered charitable trust dedicated to educate, advocate and support youth impacted by Huntington’s disease in New Zealand. For my involvement in brain health awareness and education initiatives, I was awarded the Kiwi Indian Hall of Fame Young Achiever award for 2016 by the Indian High Commissioner to NZ. In 2018 I was one of the top 5 women in the Health and Science category for NEXT Woman of the Year and in 2019 was a recipient of the KiwiBank Hero Award Medal, as well as a nominee for New Zealander of the Year. In 2021, I was recognised as a Paul Harris Fellow by Rotary International.