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DR Vanessa Cropley


  • (schizophrenia, psychosis, brain imaging, PET, neurobiology)



  • Dr. Vanessa Cropley's research to date has focused on molecular imaging with positron emission tomography (PET) and single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and its application to elucidating the neurobiology of neuropsychiatric illness. Dr. Cropley completed her PhD at the Brain Sciences Institute, Swinburne University, in 2008. Her thesis investigated the striatal and extrastriatal dopamine system and its association with frontostriatal cognitive function in healthy subjects and individuals with Parkinson’s disease using PET imaging. She conducted these studies at the Molecular Imaging Branch within the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH, NIH) under the supervision of Professor Robert Innis. After completing her PhD, Dr. Cropley was appointed as a Research Officer/Postdoctoral Fellow at Swinburne University to coordinate several industry- and nationally competitive- funded human clinical trials of complementary medicines. These trials involved electroencephalography imaging, neuropsychological and clinical assessment within randomized designs. In 2011, Dr Cropley was awarded an Australian Nationally Competitive National Health & Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Postdoctoral Training Fellowship (2011-2014) to undertake brain-imaging studies at the Melbourne Neuropsychiatry Centre, The University of Melbourne. Her main research interest is to investigate the neurobiological processes underlying schizophrenia and psychosis. Dr. Cropley uses a combination of PET and MRI imaging techniques, genetic sequencing and comprehensive clinical assessment approaches to better understand the pathophysiological changes associated with specific illness dimensions, illness stages or discrete subgroups of the schizophrenia syndrome. She has recently commenced a PET and longitudinal MRI study in schizophrenia to examine the role of microglial activation, a brain marker of inflammation, across the schizophrenia illness. Dr Cropley has authored or co-authored   


Selected publications


Investigator on


Education and training

  • PhD, Swinburne University of Technology
  • BSc, Swinburne University of Technology
  • BSc (hon), Swinburne University of Technology



Available for supervision

  • Y

Supervision Statement

  • Dr Cropley is currently available for supervision on a variety of projects examining the neurobiology of schizophrenia and psychosis using brain imaging techniques.