Current research focuses on the molecular/mechanistic understanding of how sex steroid signaling and neuroinflammation interact and contribute to striatal and cortical modulation of dopamine and how dopamine-related behaviours (psychotic-like symptoms, memory and cognition) are altered by sex steroids in male and female rats of different ages. The goal is to transfer this knowledge to human studies to develop or enhance sex steroid based and immune-related treatments for the cognitive and psychotic symptoms of schizophrenia in an age and gender-specific manner.
Dr Purves-Tyson completed a PhD at Manchester University, UK, implicating the mitogen-activated protein kinases in the aetiology of diabetic sensory neuropathy. She relocated to Australia in 2002 to investigate sex steroid signalling mechanisms in pelvic autonomic and sensory neurons. She was awarded an NHMRC Biomedical Training Fellowship and a Ramaciotti Foundation Establishment gift in 2004 to examine the effects of oestrogen on signalling mechanisms on the pelvic autonomic nervous system in diabetes.