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1998 …2024

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Personal profile

Research Biography

Professor Kim Hemsley is a neuroscientist who leads the Childhood Dementia Research Group in the Flinders Health and Medical Research Institute at Flinders University.

Kim’s interest in neuroscience began in 1993 when she joined the Neuropharmacology Laboratory of Emeritus Professor Ann Crocker at Flinders University as a Research Assistant. Some years later, encouraged and mentored by Ann, she undertook a PhD investigating the mechanisms and brain regions involved in mediating the extrapyramidal side effects caused by antipsychotic drugs.

In 2002 Kim took up a post-doctoral position in the Lysosomal Diseases Research Unit at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Adelaide, South Australia and began to establish the Childhood Dementia Research Group, whose goal is to better understand how and why degeneration of brain structure and function occurs in a childhood-onset form of dementia called Sanfilippo syndrome. A second even more important aim of the group is to develop and test potential treatments for this (currently) untreatable disorder. Evaluation of potential blood-borne biomarkers and establishment of prognostic tests for newborns diagnosed with Sanfilippo and other similar disorders are current areas of focus.

Kim is also involved in studies examining brain-related changes in other rare childhood-onset dementias including Gaucher disease, and she is interested more broadly in the effect of lysosomal insufficiency on biological processes.

Research Expertise

Dementia and Neurodegenerative Diseases

Research Interests

  • Lysosomal Storage Diseases
  • Sanfilippo Syndrome
  • Dementia
  • Mouse models
  • Mouse surgery
  • Stereotaxic surgery
  • Mouse behaviour

Supervised Students Successes

  • Mar 2021 Andrew Shoubridge - Dean's Commendation

Completed Supervisions

Principal Supervisions:
  • Childhood Dementia (4)
  • Huntington's Disease (1)
Associate Supervisions:
  • Alzheimer's disease (1)

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, An Investigation of the pharmacological characteristics of antipsychotic drugs responsible for the appearance of extrapyramidal side effects, Flinders University


Bachelor, BAppSci (Med Lab Sci), University of South Australia



  • Registered

Research Areas

  • Medical biosciences

Supervisory Interests

  • Neurodegeneration


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