DR Vanessa Cropley

DR Vanessa Cropley


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



  • Dr. Vanessa Cropley completed her Honours and PhD at the Brain Sciences Institute, Swinburne University. Her PhD 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 the molecular imaging technique, positron emission tomography (PET). She conducted these studies at the Molecular Imaging Branch within the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH, NIH). In 2011, Dr Cropley commenced a National Health & Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Postdoctoral Training Fellowship to undertake brain imaging studies in psychosis at the Melbourne Neuropsychiatry Centre (MNC). She is currently a Research Fellow within MNC. Her research focuses on investigating neuroimaging and neurobiological markers associated with clinical, functional and cognitive outcomes in schizophrenia and psychosis using a multi-modal and longitudinal approach.

    Dr. Cropley participates in several competitively funded national research projects and leads a current NHMRC Project Grant and an international NARSAD Young Investigator grant. Her main research interests include: 1) examination of neuroinflammation in psychosis using PET imaging and other brain and peripheral measures of inflammatory processes, 2) examination of brain structural and functional trajectories of illness within a developmental and aging framework, 3) investigating the influence of dopamine on frontostriatal circuitry, and 4) examining brain-behaviour relationships associated with specific illness dimensions, illness stages or discrete subgroups within the schizophrenia syndrome. Dr. Cropley supervises a number of PhD and honours students and international visitors. She has authored over 30 journal publications in leading international journals and has acquired over $2.5 million in competitive research funding over her career. Dr. Cropley is a member of the MNC Executive, is the   


Selected publications


Investigator on

Additional Grant Information

  • Grants

    • Cropley V (2018). Melbourne Research Fellowship (Career Interruption)

    • Cropley V (2016). University of Melbourne MDHS Research Fellowship

    • Pantelis C, Cropley V, Moffat B, Laskaris L, DiBiase M, Desmond P, Oldrige R (2016). Investigating glutamate dysregulation in relation to brain structure and inflammation in schizophrenia. Royal Melbourne Hospital Home Lottery Research Grant.

    • Cropley V (2016). Melbourne Neuroscience Institute Fellowship – relinquished

    • Pantelis C, Cropley V, Chana G, Laskaris L, Everall I (2015). Investigating immune dysregulation at different stages of schizophrenia. Royal Melbourne Hospital Home Lottery Research Grant.

    • Cropley V, Pantelis C, Baune B, Olver J, Amminger P (2014-2017). Neuroinflammation in schizophrenia. National Health and Medical Research Council.

    • Fornito A, Cropley V, Thomas P, Harrison B, Pantelis C, Francey S (2014-2017). The link between dopamine and brain circuit dysfunction in early psychosis. National Health and Medical Research Council.

    • Cropley V (2014-2016). Investigating the dopaminergic basis of dysregulated frontostriatal circuitry in psychosis: A combined PET 18FFDOPA and resting-state functional imaging study. NARSAD Young Investigator Grant.

    • Fornito A, Bousman C, Zalesky A, Harrison B, Cropley V, Velakoulis D. Dopamine, frontal-subcortical circuits and risk for schizophrenia. National Health and Medical Research Council.

    • Cropley V (2012-2014). Neuroinflammation in schizophrenia relapse: a pilot PET study. University of Melbourne Early Career Researcher Grant.   


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.