• Senior Lecturer in Biomedical Science, Biology
    • Bio208, Department of Biology, Edge Hill University

      L39 4QP Ormskirk

      United Kingdom

    Accepting PhD Students


    Research activity per year

    Personal profile


    Dr Adjanie Patabendige is a neuroscientist with expertise in cerebrovascular biology, and in particular, studying the BBB (the specialised physiological barrier that protects the brain from blood-borne toxins and pathogens, and regulates molecular traffic between the blood and the brain) in health and disease. She received her PhD from King’s College London (University of London), UK under the mentorship of Prof Joan Abbott. During her PhD, she developed a porcine BBB model that mimics the in vivo BBB closely (Patabendige et al., 2013). This is one of the most robust and reproducible primary BBB models currently available, and is being used by many academics and pharmaceutical companies for drug screening and functional studies.

    Her postdoctoral research at the University of Liverpool (PI Prof Tom Solomon) was focused on developing a human BBB model to study viral encephalitis. Here she used containment level 3 flaviviruses to investigate the mechanisms of neuroinvasion across the human BBB and the pro-inflammatory cytokine response on the brain endothelium (Patabendige et al., 2018). In 2012, Dr Patabendige was awarded one of the inaugural David Sainsbury Fellowships from the National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs, UK) for early career researchers. Following her relocation to Australia, Dr Patabendige was recruited to the University of Newcastle in 2016 recognising her expertise in BBB and cerebrovascular biology. Here she worked on an NHMRC funded project on intracranial pressure (ICP) and hypothermia treatment for stroke, where she developed an interest in cerebrospinal fluid dynamics in ischaemic stroke (Bothwell et al., 2019). Dr Patabendige was awarded an Early-Mid Career Fellowship from the NSW Ministry of Health in 2018 to investigate the mechanisms that contribute to early neurological deterioration in ischaemic stroke patients.

    Dr Patabendige leads the Brain Barriers Research Group at Edge Hill University and works collaborately with the Liverpool Centre for Cardiovascular Science, University of Liverpool where she holds an honorary appointment.

    Research interests

    Development and establishment of physiologically-relevant in vitro models

    Using a range of in vitro blood-brain barrier (BBB) models, we aim to understand the detailed cellular and molecular mechanisms of BBB dysfunction in neurological and cardiovascular diseases, including identification of new disease biomarkers. In addition, in collaboration with pharmaceutical industry partners, brain penetration of selected neuroprotective drugs across the BBB are being investigated.

    Replacement of animal models for studying the blood-brain barrier

    We’re committed to the 3Rs and aim to develop non-animal technologies to study BBB disruption in neurological diseases.


    Understanding the pathophysiology of ischaemic stroke

    We are also interested in investigating the mechanisms involved in the pathophysiology of impaired brain fluid homeostasis in neurological diseases such as stroke and brain trauma. Disruption of brain fluid dynamics can be life threatening, as this leads to an elevated intracranial pressure (ICP). We have demonstrated that changes in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) volume can lead to ICP elevation in ischaemic stroke in preclinical studies. We are now exploring clinical translation and potential treatment strategies to reduce the ICP elevation in ischaemic stroke. 

    Twitter: @APatabendige


    Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

    In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

    • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
    • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
    • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities

    Education/Academic qualification

    Neuroscience/Physiology, PhD

    Other positions

    Honorary Fellow, University of Liverpool

    Honorary Lecturer, University of Newcastle

    Research Institutes

    • Health Research Institute

    Research Centres

    • Cardio-Respiratory Research Centre
    • Data Science STEM Research Centre
    • Centre for Intelligent Visual Computing Research


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