Michael Valenzuela’s training comprised a BSc (Psychology) Hons and PhD at UNSW, MBBS Hons University of Sydney, and junior medical officer training at the Prince of Wales Hospital. His research has been recognised by numerous awards including the prestigious Eureka Prize for Medical Research 2006 and NHMRC Excellence Award 2010. In 2012, he established the Regenerative Neuroscience Group at the Brain and Mind Centre, University of Sydney, in 2018 becoming the university’s first Professor of Regenerative Medicine.
Michael is a key opinion leader and health innovator with a career-long commitment to the elimination of dementia. He is amongst <1% of investigators worldwide to lead research across the areas of stem cells, clinical trials, neuroimaging and cognition. He is primary inventor of a patentable method of producing neural precursor cells and scientific founder of spin-out company Skin2Neuron. Together, they are developing a new cell therapy for Alzheimer dementia, currently in veterinary trial in dogs. His work on Cognitive Reserve is recognised internationally, including contributions to the WHO ICOPE Guidelines and Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Psychology, scientific advisory roles for the Barcelona Brain Health Initiative and European Prevention for Alzheimer’s Disease Consortium, and leadership role in the US Alzheimer Association’s working group on Reserve and Resilience. His work in cognitive training includes some of the field’s most widely cited studies, translating into co-design and co-leadership of the $6.5M Maintain Your Brain study, the world’s largest dementia prevention trial. Michael’s group has produced a pipeline of digital technology, including BrainyApp, Brain Training System, LOGOS and Function_Cloud. Michael is author of popular science book on brain health, Maintain Your Brain.