Head of Laboratory

Dr Michael Piper


Otto Hirschfeld Building (#81), Level 7


  • Dr. Michael Piper
  • Dr. Tracey Harvey
  • Dr Oressia Zalucki
  • Ms Chantelle Reid


  • Mr Lachlan Harris
  • Mr James Fraser
  • Ms Diana Vidovic
  • Ms Elise Horne


The brain is perhaps the most complicated organ in the body, consisting of literally hundreds of millions of neurons, each of which makes numerous specific synaptic connections with other neurons within the brain.

The neurons comprising the brain are derived from neural progenitor cells found within both the developing and adult brain. I am interested in understanding the genetic and molecular mechanisms that regulate the differentiation of these neural progenitor cells. This work has important implications for development, ageing and cancer.

Research support

Australian Research Council Future Fellowship, 2013-2016,  Nfib regulates glial differentiation via epigenetic chromatin modification

Grant Body: NHMRC Project grant (CIA), Grant Period: 2012-2014,  Regulation of neural progenitor cell self-renewal by the RNA-binding protein ZFP36L1 during development and disease

Grant Body: NHMRC Project grant (CIA), Grant Period: 2014-2016

Recent Publications

  1. Heng YHE, Zhou B, Harris L, Harvey T, Smith A, Horne E, Martynoga B, Andersen J, Achimastou A, Cato K, Rochards L, Gronostajski R, Yeo G, Guillemot F, Bailey T, Piper M (2014) NFIX regulates proliferation and migration within the murine SVZ neurogenic niche. In press, Cerebral Cortex.
  2. Piper M, Barry G, Harvey TJ, McLeay R, Smith AG, Harris L, Mason S, Stringer BW, Day BW, Wray NR, Gronostajski RM, Bailey TL, Boyd AW, Richards LJ (2014) NFIB-mediated repression of the epigenetic factor Ezh2 regulates cortical development. The Journal of Neuroscience, 34:2921-2930.
  3. Heng YHE, McLeay R, Harvey TJ, Smith AG, Barry G, Cato K, Plachez C, Little E, Mason S, Dixon C, Gronostajski RM, Bailey TL, Richards LJ, Piper M (2014) NFIX regulates neural progenitor cell differentiation during hippocampal morphogenesis. Cerebral Cortex, 24; 261-279.
  4. Martynoga B, Mateo JL, Zhou B, Andersen J, Achimastou A, Urban N, van den Berg D, Georgopoulou D, Hadjur S, Wittbrodt J, Ettwiller L, Piper M, Gronostajski RM, Guillemot F (2013) Epigenomic enhancer annotation reveals a key role for NFIX in neural stem cell quiescence. Genes and Development, 27: 1769-1786
  5. Piper M, Barry G, Hawkins J, Mason S, Lindwall C, Little E, Sarkar A, Moldrich RX, Boyle GM, Tole S, Gronostajski RM, Bailey T, Richards LJ. (2010) NFIA regulates telencephalic progenitor cell differentiation through repression of the Notch effector Hes1. The Journal of Neuroscience, 30(27):9127-9139.
  6. Piper M, Dwidevy A, Leung L, Bradley RS, Holt CE (2008) NF-protocadherin and TAF1 regulate axon initiation and elongation in vivo. The Journal of Neuroscience, 28 (1): 100-105.