Professor Helen Cooper

Deputy Director (Research)

Queensland Brain Institute
+61 7 334 66354


Research Interests

  • Neural Migration
    The adult human brain contains approximately 1011 neurons which make an estimated 1014 synaptic connections. How is such a astonishing structure generated? Cell and axon migration are fundamental processes essential for establishing the architectural plan of the central nervous system during vertebrate embryogenesis. Newly born neurons migrate along predefined pathways to establish the variety of distinct structures present in the adult brain. In addition, young neurons must also extend axons to their appropriate targets in order to establish the extensive network of connections found between neurons in the adult brain. Research in the Neural Migration Laboratory focuses on the molecular signalling systems governing neural differentiation, migration and axon pathfinding in the embryonic brain. This team has now identified several important cell surface receptors essential for these developmental processes. Current research is aimed at discovering how these receptors function during key phases of nervous system development. To address these questions we use both the mouse and zebrafish as our developmental models.


  • Bachelor of Science, University of Melbourne
  • PhD, University of Melbourne


  • Harkins, Danyon, Harvey, Tracey J., Atterton, Cooper, Miller, Ingrid, Currey, Laura, Oishi, Sabrina, Kasherman, Maria, Davila, Raul Ayala, Harris, Lucy, Green, Kathryn, Piper, Hannah, Parton, Robert G., Thor, Stefan, Cooper, Helen M. and Piper, Michael (2022). Hydrocephalus in Nfix−/− mice is underpinned by changes in ependymal cell physiology. Cells, 11 (15) 2377, 2377. doi: 10.3390/cells11152377

  • Chau, Tevin CY., Baek, Sungmin, Coxam, Baptiste, Skoczylas, Renae, Rondon‐Galeano, Maria, Bower, Neil I., Wainwright, Elanor N., Stacker, Steven A., Cooper, Helen M., Koopman, Peter A., Lagendijk, Anne K., Harvey, Natasha L., François, Mathias and Hogan, Benjamin M. (2021). Pkd1 and Wnt5a genetically interact to control lymphatic vascular morphogenesis in mice. Developmental Dynamics, 251 (2) dvdy.390, 336-349. doi: 10.1002/dvdy.390

  • Shohayeb, Belal, Muzar, Zukhrofi and Cooper, Helen M. (2021). Conservation of neural progenitor identity and the emergence of neocortical neuronal diversity. Seminars in Cell and Developmental Biology, 118, 4-13. doi: 10.1016/j.semcdb.2021.05.024

View all Publications


  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • (2022) Doctor Philosophy

View all Supervision


Book Chapter

  • Cooper, Helen M. and Paterson, Yvonne (2008). Production of polyclonal antisera. Current protocols in molecular biology. (pp. 11.12.1-11.12.10) edited by Frederick M. Ausubel, Roger Brent, Robert E. Kingston, David D. Moore, J. G. Seidman and Kevin Struhl. New York, U.S.: John Wiley. doi: 10.1002/0471142727.mb1112s81

Journal Article

Other Outputs

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

Completed Supervision