Postgraduate education

David Nisbet: fresh approach to nerve regeneration

Neural track regeneration, especially in the brain, is the subject of extensive medical research in a race to treat neuro-degenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease or trauma.

A PhD Research project being conducted by CRC-P postgraduate student, David Nisbet, takes a fresh approach to nerve regeneration by examining novel materials as scaffolds that enhance neural track regeneration.  David is investigating two candidate scaffolds for this purpose: thermally sensitive hydrogels and electrospun nano-fibres.

To improve his novel hydrogel system, David recently commenced a placement at the University of Toronto to work with one of the leading experts in neural tissue engineering, Prof. Molly Shoichet.

“I’ll be working with Prof. Shoichet for seven months and in that time, I would like to achieve better neuron survival on the scaffold, and to be able to direct the differentiation of neurons,” David said.

David also recently presented a poster of his work on eletro-spun fibres at the Gordon Conference at Connecticut College, Now London, which is near New York.

David has been associated with the CRC-P since his second year of undergraduate studies, having won a CRC-P undergraduate scholarship, and has worked through these years under the supervision of Dr John Forsythe in the Materials Engineering Department of Monash University.

For his PhD research, David was granted an Australian Postgraduate Award, and was awarded a top-up scholarship by the CRC-P.  He is doing his PhD at Monash University, and his supervisors are Dr John Forsythe (Monash University), and Prof. Mal Horne (University of Melbourne – Howard Florey Institute) and Associate Prof. David Finklestein (Mental Health Research Institute).