Madeleine Smith from the Neurodevelopment and Neuroprotection Research Group at Hudson Institute

Madeleine Smith


PhD student

Research Centre:

The Ritchie Centre

Area of study:

Neuroscience and stem cells

Year of enrolment:


Why did you choose Hudson Institute and your research group?

Hudson Institute is an engaging and exciting research institute. Our team at The Ritchie Centre has a fantastic reputation in the stem cell field which is a fascinating area of science. I chose Hudson Institute because of the strong support for young people and women in science. Additionally, The Ritchie Centre is located in a research building right next to the hospital, which ensures that our experimental lab-based work is directly translatable to what happens in the clinic, and also means that students are able to work with both scientists and clinical doctors to work towards new strategies and treatments for sick newborn babies.

What is your research about and what do you hope to achieve?

My research aims to optimise neural stem cell therapy for babies with brain injury, specifically perinatal stroke. Perinatal stroke is a stroke event that occurs in babies around the time of birth, which can lead to long term motor and cognitive deficits including cerebral palsy which has no known cure. My PhD combines lab-based research and consumer engagement through an online survey which will determine the opinions and attitudes that are held in the cerebral palsy community towards neural stem cells therapy. I hope that my PhD will answer questions to further optimise neural stem cell therapy and help to develop a clinically relevant therapy to treat cerebral palsy.

What is it like being a student at Hudson Institute?

Hudson Institute is a great place for students, with support from inspiring researchers to set students up for success. The student community is strong at Hudson Institute and there are lots of opportunities to meet new people and make life-long friends.

How will your research help others?

I hope that my research will contribute to developing a stem cell treatment for cerebral palsy, which currently has no known cure.