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Staff profile: Dr Matt Albrecht

After finishing his PhD at the University of Western Australia, Dr Matt Albrecht joined Curtin University. An early interest in how chemicals can impact mood, thought and experience led him to his current research focus  on neurodevelopmental disorders, and possible treatment for these disorders.

Dr Matt Albrecht.
Dr Matt Albrecht.

Name: Matt Albrecht.

Title: Research Fellow.

School: Public Health and Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute (CHIRI).

Campus: Bentley.

How long have you worked at Curtin?

~ 4 to 5 years.

Where did you work prior to starting at the University?

I was finishing my PhD at UWA.

What do you like best about your role?

Continuously finding out new, surprising and interesting things – things move so quickly in research.

Dr Albrecht's research focuses on on neurodevelopmental disorders.
Dr Albrecht's research focuses on on neurodevelopmental disorders.

Why did you choose your current career path?

I was really fascinated by the how simple chemicals could so profoundly alter a person’s moods, thoughts, and general conscious experience. I wanted to know in greater detail how this could happen.

This led me into research on what role the dopamine system plays in psychotic disorders. Then, to where I am now, attempting to translate the most complex human features of neurodevelopmental disorders into animal models and potential pharmacotherapeutic treatments.

First job?

Pizza delivery.

Worst job?

Kitchen hand.

What project are you currently working on and what does it involve?

I’m currently working on setting up two animal models of neurodevelopmental disorders. We will be applying specific environmental insults to rodents that we know from the epidemiological literature are associated with a disorder like schizophrenia or autism.

From there, we’re going to be assessing what are some of the most characteristic behavioural and electrophysiological findings associated with human clinical phenomenology using rodent analogues. Then, ultimately, attempt to treat these behaviours/alterations in brain physiology with drugs.

Martial arts.
Martial arts.

Your favourite place in the world and why?

New Orleans – party atmosphere.

Your favourite cuisine and why?

Currently into American style BBQ – ribs are delicious.

What is the best piece of advice you have received?

Tap early, tap often.

Tell us something about yourself that your colleagues wouldn’t know?

I was the 2016 Maryland State Submission only blue belt <170 lb in the ‘not a spring chicken’ division no gi BJJ champion. I was also of the 2014 Fort McHenry Flip Cup league champions of 2014.