top of page

A/Prof Vanessa Cropley

Dr Vanessa Cropley is a Senior Research Fellow and

head of the Neurobiology Group Sub-Stream at the MNC

 +61 3 8344 1876

  • Twitter

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). Dr Cropley joined Melbourne Neuropsychiatry Centre in 2011 as an NHMRC Early Career Research Fellow. She is currently a Senior Research Fellow and head of the Translational Neurobiology group within the Psychosis Studies stream. 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. To do this she uses brain imaging (for structure, function and molecular processes), cognitive and clinical assessment, and measures derived from blood and cerebrospinal fluid (e.g. immune factors) across a broad spectrum of disease risk, including subclinical psychosis, and individuals at the early and established stages of psychotic illness.

Current Projects

Dr Cropley is currently running the following study through the MNC:

Dr Cropley is currently advertising for a PhD student:

If you would like to find out more about Dr Cropley’s research, or are interested in other Honours, Masters or PhD projects, please contact her at

Current Funding

Cropley V, Zalesky A (2019-2023). The complement cascade, cortical thinning and the development of psychosis. National Health and Medical Research Council Project Grant.

Cropley V (2014-2019). NARSAD Young Investigator Grant, awarded by the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation.

Fornito A, Cropley V, Thomas P, Harrison B, Pantelis C, Francey S (2014-2019). A combined PET-fMRI study of frontostriatal dysfunction in first episode psychosis. National Health and Medical Research Council Project Grant.

Cropley, V (2020-2024). Refining the synaptic pruning hypothesis of psychosis in humans. NHMRC Investigator Grant (Emerging Leadership Level 2).

Select Publications

Cropley, V.L., Klauser, P., Lenroot, R.K., Bruggemann, J., Sundram, S., Bousman, C., Pereira, A., Di Biase, M.A., Weickert, T.W., Weickert, C.S., Pantelis, C., Zalesky, A., 2017. Accelerated Gray and White Matter Deterioration With Age in Schizophrenia. Am J Psychiatry 174(3), 286-295.


Wannan CMJ, Cropley VL, Chakravarty M, Bousman C, Ganella EP, Bruggemann J, Weickert T, Shannon Weickert C, Everall I, McGorry P, Velakoulis D, Wood SJ, Bartholomeusz CF, Pantelis C, Zalesky A. (accepted 23/1/19). Connectivity shapes cortical thickness reductions in schizophrenia: ‘Regions that link together, thin together’. Am J Psychiatry


Di Biase, M.A., Zalesky, A., O'Keefe, G., Laskaris, L., Baune, B.T., Weickert, C.S., Olver, J., McGorry, P.D., Amminger, G.P., Nelson, B., Scott, A.M., Hickie, I., Banati, R., Turkheimer, F., Yaqub, M., Everall, I.P., Pantelis, C., Cropley, V., 2017. PET imaging of putative microglial activation in individuals at ultra-high risk for psychosis, recently diagnosed and chronically ill with schizophrenia. Transl Psychiatry 7(8), e1225.


Laskaris, L., Zalesky, A., Weickert, C.S., Di Biase, M.A., Chana, G., Baune, B.T., Bousman, C., Nelson, B., McGorry, P., Everall, I., Pantelis, C., Cropley, V., 2018. Investigation of peripheral complement factors across stages of psychosis. Schizophr Res.


Laskaris, L.E., Di Biase, M.A., Everall, I., Chana, G., Christopoulos, A., Skafidas, E., Cropley, V.L., Pantelis, C., 2016. Microglial activation and progressive brain changes in schizophrenia. Br J Pharmacol 173(4), 666-680.


Wannan, C.M.J., Cropley, V.L., Chakravarty, M.M., Van Rheenen, T.E., Mancuso, S., Bousman, C., Everall, I., McGorry, P.D., Pantelis, C., Bartholomeusz, C.F., 2018. Hippocampal subfields and visuospatial associative memory across stages of schizophrenia-spectrum disorder. Psychol Med, 1-11.


Cropley, V.L., Lin, A., Nelson, B., Reniers, R., Yung, A.R., Bartholomeusz, C.F., Klauser, P., Velakoulis, D., McGorry, P., Wood, S.J., Pantelis, C., 2016. Baseline grey matter volume of non-transitioned "ultra high risk" for psychosis individuals with and without attenuated psychotic symptoms at long-term follow-up. Schizophr Res 173(3), 152-158.

bottom of page